I like what Per Alin said in “Wind power, is it worth it?” What he says is true, but it emphasizes the misconception we all have about wind power and other alternate energy sources. Alternate energy is a free supplement to our current energy sources, not a replacement. I believe in wind generators. Not for big energy, but for the man in the street. Windmills should be on your roof with your solar panels. This takes the monopoly on energy away from big energy and puts it with the man in the street where it belongs. If big energy finds massive windmills on mountain tops can help them and they are required to meet environmental standards to put them there, more power to them, excuse the pun. But recognize that you get no benefit, because you still pay them for your electricity. If you put it on your roof, you don’t. There they’ll long outlast our diminishing supply of oil, natural gas, and even coal. You can’t use up the wind and the sun.
Big energy has convinced us that energy is too complex for the ordinary citizen, and they will have to supply it. And, of course, make money on it.
They are wrong! It is not only easy, but it will employ our 10 million unemployed installing and maintaining solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal energy in communities everywhere, unlike the Keystone pipeline which will employ half a million people for one year to move oil 1,200 miles to a refinery which could better be built on the site for less money. By the way, oil sands will not make gasoline.
But recognize that the alternate energy devices on your roof top are completely different than those in the wind corridors and mountain tops. Wind is on your roof every day, but it is about one quarter of that on the mountain tops. Your windmill must have a design for the light winds that big energy ignores. Such designs already exist. We need to develop a completely parallel alternate energy system in the next 30 years to supplement big energy. Get involved. It will be challenging and fun.