The power of wind is about more than just a bad hair day


Right now, as I write this, the wind is whipping through the Midwest where I live. Thousands of people are having bad hair days, trees are being pruned by nature whether they like it or not, and my empty garbage can, before I put it in the garage, was tossed across our front yard like a Frisbee. On a much more serious note, tornadoes have ravaged Oklahoma, and meteorologists throughout portions of the country are watching out for more storms.

But in looking for the bright side to this kind of weather, wind storms can be an incredible source of energy.

ABC News just put online an interesting story about wind power. They mention how a wind storm blowing in off the coast of Spain on January 23 caused the wind turbines to generate 27% of Spain's electric power on that particular day, and the last few days, they've been having a windstorm with gusts of 75 miles an hour, and so who knows how much energy the turbines are creating right now.

But what really excited me was that in Spain, the faster the wind blows, the less people have to pay for their electricity. During the windstorm last month, the price of electricity dropped 11%. And if America brought in more wind turbines -- or any sort of renewable sources, it's estimated that the price of electricity would fall about 7%.

Not that our electric bill, which collectively is costing us around $400 billion a year, is going down any time soon. According to The New York Times, some details that were released earlier this week, from an ongoing study being conducted by the power company Midwest Independent Transmission System, while wind turbines could provide 20 percent of the energy in the power grid that runs across eastern North America, the transmission lines -- just for the wind on this particular grid -- will cost about $80 billion, and if the Energy Department pulls this off, it probably won't be until 2024.

Still, it's something to think about the next time your garbage can is knocked over, and you wonder if all this wind is good for anything. It is.