Why Can't We Generate All Our Energy From Wind Power?


Wikipedia, Creative Commons.
Wikipedia, Creative Commons.

Why can't we generate all the electricity we need from the wind? That's a question that I often hear coming from people who are starting to learn about the environmental challenges that are facing us, and it's a good question. At first glance, it might seem straightforward: We're already producing clean electricity using wind turbines, so we know it works. Why not just build lots and lots of them until we produce enough power, thus solving the problems caused by dirty power plants?

Sadly, as is often the case, reality is a bit more complex than that. To answer this question, we need to better understand how wind power works, and how a power grid works. Let's dive right in, shall we?