Laws were passed in most States in the U.S. in the mid-1970s that made it mandatory for the power companies to buy back power at the same rate that you buy it from them. This was, I believe, pushed through by Pie-In-The-Sky-Dreamers otherwise known as hippies. No one gave them a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting the legislation through, but they did. And I believe it happened in Wisconsin first, but I could have that part wrong.
I am up in canada, and in some ways, we’re are not as progressive. I heard somewhere that they want you to post a bond for several thousands of dollars, in case any of your windmill equipment damages anything on the power grid. Also, I have not heard of them buying power back for the same rate here in canada. Different provinces also have different regulations here also.
One problem about trying to hook a bunch of windmills up to a grid is that electricity in the US is at 60 Hz AC (60 cycles/sec) and in order to hook to a grid, your power must match that 60 Hz and be in phase. How would a windmill maintain the right rpm in order to maintain a 60 Hz output of power when the wind changes speed? That is probably the reason why you don’t see much wind power (unless I’m wrong and they do have a way to maintain 60 Hz constant power with fluctuating windmill rpm. I also posted a message in the biofuels list earlier today asking why it wouldn’t be feasable to “crack” hydrogen from vegetable oil instead of coal/oil considering that by weight, vegetable oil is about 12% hydrogen (tripalmitate) and crude oil has about 15.0% hydrogen. I figured that since both crude oil and vegetable oil are organic compounds, that they could be processed the same way.
They don’t make H from coal or oil, they make it from natural gas for the most part, as the most efficient base. I guess I don’t see the point of using VO to make H. By the time you’ve done that (extra cost) and found an inexpensive solution for storing enough in a vehicle to actually go very far, and, of course, actually have a reasonably cheap vehicle that runs on H and gives you good milage — none of which is available at this point — you could be running a very highly efficient Volks TDI getting at least 50mpg on biodiesel with very little pollution. And by the time the previously mentioned problems with the H-fueled vehicle are solved, the diesel will be even cleaner and more efficient. You can buy a diesel right now, in Europe, that will give you 80mpg. If you couple the new diesels with a hybrid system you could do much, much better. Today. Running biodiesel pumped from all the local gas stations without a huge retrofit to convert to H. Maybe they will be able to start a really efficient algae based H production, and all the other stuff will fall into place, but that’s still years from now, don’t wait. I’ve long been a fan of various algaes, spirulina for instance. And long been fascinated by the possibilities of H for fuel — but there’s no way I can build a fuel cell or even build some really efficient storage to run it in a car. It is easy, however, to make biodiesel out of WVO, or grow VO, or make ethanol, and I can do that today. Here and Now. I used to be pretty seriously intent on building a blimp and filling it with H. Yeah, I know all about the Hindenberg – that’s mostly a lot of jive. Fact it, it caught fire, most of the passengers and crew got off safely, very few people hurt or dead. Modern airliners are a whole lot more dangerous – very seldom anybody escapes when they crash.