The Pickens wind turbine plan is a large-scale plan, truly a reasonable national energy plan by any measure. It calls for building thousands of wind turbines and a new power grid to distribute the energy across the nation. This is going to take time, resources, and an unimaginable amount of political and legal wrangling at the state, federal, and local levels in the years ahead. It is also going to tie up the electricity producers and regulatory agencies in every state. Just think about endless meetings with FERC, NYPA, the EPA, DEC, the PSC, and dozens of other groups. If you think it’s going to be complicated, you’re right, vis-vis, the recent relicensing of NYPA’s hydropower projects. Nevertheless, it can be successful with good planning, plenty of resources (money for lawyers) and visionary leadership with unfaltering commitment.
There’s an easier and a faster way to have an impact, and one that we should be talking about as well. It goes like this. Imagine if General Electric or some other company with vast industrial resources (General Motors?) committed some of their extensive resources and expertise for producing affordable consumer quality wind turbines. Easy to use appliances built on the scale of those emergency gasoline generators gathering dust in most garages. Furthermore, these wind turbines could easily be distributed through retailers like Sears, Home Depot, or Lowe’s, and if the electric utilities collaborate with homeowners in the installation, many of us could go out and buy one, install it ourselves, and be “grid wise” in a few days.
Think about this; if you can buy a large screen TV, a refrigerator, or even have your furnace replaced, why can’t you buy an inexpensive wind turbine from a local retailer right now? They should be easily installed and with sufficient power to run our homes, farms, workshops or whatever? Small-scale wind turbines should be as available like used cars in Jersey!
Right now, home wind turbine systems are far too expensive for the average homeowner. They also require a tower and several batteries, which add to the difficulty. If home wind turbine systems were affordable and the states gave an income tax energy credit for installing one, the nationwide impact would be astounding. Imagine the impact of taking 21 million homes off the grid, especially in those states with fossil fuel electricity generating systems. Imagine the environmental impact of converting those facilities to wind turbine generators as well.
One last thing for consideration. Small wind turbines skip the regulatory and legal barriers that a large national energy plan, ambitious and well meaning as it is, is going to face. It places the vast economic power of the consumer at work, not the lawyers, bureaucrats and politicians.
That’s my rant for now, what do you think about unleashing the economic power of American consumers through ownership of inexpensive small wind turbine systems, purchased from a nearby distributor from your neighborhood?