Most small-scale wind turbines installed in towns and cities would lose money, a Southampton study to identify the best places for the technology has found.

The research, funded by the Energy Saving Trust (EST), said 450,000 households could generate in excess of £2,800 of electricity a year with a turbine, but only in windswept rural locations.

The figures mean that well-placed turbines could make enough energy to power 825,000 homes a year.

But most small-scale turbines in towns and cities would actually lose money, the study discovered, with some generating as little as £26 of energy a year.

The results show that the performance of domestic wind turbines is highly dependent upon location.

The year-long research, conducted by scientists at the University of Southampton, involved 57 locations, ranging from south-west England to the Orkney Islands.

It tested a range of turbines that fell within two categories: building-mounted and free-standing pole-mounted.