Many years ago I gave a short course on energy economics at Griffith University (Brisbane, Australia), and to the disgust of my students I insisted that only amateurs believed that wind-power would be able to deliver the goods.
As it happened, I was not completely correct, because although I did not know it, shortly before I gave that course, a manager at one of the largest and most prestigious scientific establishments in the United States, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), said that: “If the Danes could get 200,000 kilowatts from the wind back in 1908, we should be able to satisfy our present needs.”
My memory is not as good as it once was where trivia is concerned, but apparently the excellent scientists and managers of NASA were thinking in terms of wind supplying about one-half of the electricity requirements of the United States. The problem here of course was that cost did not receive the attention that it deserved. My students in Brisbane suffered from a similar imperfection, because my suggestion that cost should always play some sort of role in dealing with the provision of electricity by alternative technologies, was greeted by the first gutter language that I heard in a university classroom.