This is a response to a post in the ‘What are going to be the new currencies?’ thread that I thought got away from the topic. So I started this one. (Personally I don’t think the ‘Hippie Mixmasters’ are ugly, not anywhere near as much as a coal fired plant, they’re just not needed.) I think the problem with wind, and other renewable energy sources, is that power companies want to be able to sell it. So they apply their investment capital and lobbying efforts toward centralized power plants, or wind ‘farms’ etc., I.e. their power plants. The last thing they want is the development of a simple and effective off the shelf energy storage capability available to the ordinary homeowner. Individually, homeowners don’t have the clout to swing the needed development themselves. A generator is just a motor ‘running backwards’. Homesteads used to have windmills to bring the water up. Is it really so out of the pale to think one could gear a generator off the shaft of such a windmill, instead of the mill pumping water up from the table? A water tank could even be the energy storage. The water could spin a couple of small turbines in series on it's way back into the well. I bet small weather proof ‘fans’ could be mounted on the peaks of roofs the way small satellite dishes are now. Heck, I bet a turbine vent caps could even be rigged to do it. Between small wind generators spinning whenever the wind’s up, day or night; small solar panels generating power whenever the sun’s out, a simple and cost effective storage devices available at the hardware store, more energy efficient electrical devices in the home & judicious use of same; I’d bet a homeowner/steader could make a serious dent in their energy usage. What utility company wants that? You’d think the real estate companies would be all over this pushing the technology. Think of all the land that’s cheap because it’s so far from the grid, that would increase in value if homeowners could easily generate their own. The reason for the huge windmill farms or any other centralized power plant exists is, of course, that’s the simplest way utility companies can make money off of it.