The following is a comment left by Apogee on this post. I thought it worth posting in case anyone missed it.
'Hi SR. Al Gore again. How I wish that I had thought of that scam, I'd be rich.
This will never work because to work it needs a means of storing electric power in BULK INDUSTRIAL QUANTITIES. There IS NO large Industrial Storage means for electricity, about the largest batteries commonly used are for BACKUP POWER for telephone exchanges, and they can cover the area of a tennis court,and that's for a couple of hours until they get the diesel generators on line.
Why do you think commerce is in steam or diesel powered ships, because of reliability and you can drive a much bigger ship. Ever seen a 50000 ton sail powered cargo ship? and you won't. Wind power is inherently unreliable, read about the old clipper ships, look at the life on them for the crews,it was hard. And that was the best that could be done with wind power. As soon as the wind stopped, you stopped.
Handbook of Homemade Power. Get a copy from the library or buy a copy, read it fully and you will understand why alternative power can be used for a farm or even a big property, but look at the amount of power your house uses, and then tell me how you would power it by alternatives, and then scale it up to power a small town and tell me how THAT would work. And cost. And remember that all large scale storage is direct current and all your houses use alternating current. Any one with ideas I would like to hear, because I think before long we may need some!
I am not going into the losses on transmission lines, typically 30% on a long line, but would you run your car if it lost that, remember you car loses at least 10 % when you use air conditioning and another 10 % with an automatic gearbox. No one mentions losses, do they.'