Can Wind Power Break Free of the Grid?

Posted March 24, 2014 at 5:11am

The Energy Collective writes that “in North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, almost all wind power utilizes today’s technology in the same way: large megawatt wind farms generate power to supplement the grid. But why is this? Wind power makes for an adaptable power source, one we should be seeing everywhere, like generating a few kilowatts for a remote cabin in the Appalachians, or churning water irrigation pumps along the South Saskatchewan River. But still, it’s being pigeonholed into one task, like an aging sitcom actor.”  

“These stereotypical kinds of wind farms have sprung up in all sorts of environments over the past thirty years, including offshore and barren deserts. According to the latest energy report from US Department of Energy, wind energy accounted for 3.91% of all electricity generated in the US in the past year.”  

“Despite this dedication to single-purpose wind technology, no towns have managed to completely free themselves from the grid. For that to happen, a wind farm would need to be geographically close to the town it would support. Currently, this is rarely possible due to zoning laws and uncooperative wind conditions. Thus, no wind-powered town.”