Hooray! Someone with some common sense.
Rather than guess at numbers and provide fantastic visions of a windmill in your garden running everything in your house, let's actually sit down and do the numbers sensibly. Someone give this man a medal. And alternate scenarios for the greenies - fantastic - let's show them why man MUST burn more uranium before anything like that ever gets viable.
I love the way that everything is overexaggerated - "Let's assume we need much less energy and we can blanket the country with the best windmills for ever and destroy every habitat by doing whatever we want with loch water and STILL it's not close to viable".
I was suitably impressed by the fusion numbers to want to instantly stop messing about with fluttering things in the breeze and letting the oceans slosh a couple of generators about and start researching fusion seriously as the only thing worth our time. And while we're getting there, let's just stick one or two more tiny nuclear reactors about to make up for all the lost renewable energy (and then some) for the next century or so.
Slightly offtopic: I was in B&Q the other day. They sell a home wind-turbine. I was bored and had to wait for the wife to decide between eight identical shades of beige paint, so I did some mental arithmetic.
If I bought it and installed it and achieved the theoretical maximum power from it, all day every day, it would pay for itself in about 8 years. It had a "design life" of five. That's not counting what happens if it falls off, breaks, wears, becomes less efficient, gets vandalised or happens to sit in a non-optimal location.
So, theoretically, after 8 years of (hopefully) cash-free maintenance and gale-force winds, I would *just* start to get some free electricity. Not counting installation. Or delivery. Or the planning consultant. Or the planning permission. Or getting the electricity company to install their kit so I could pump back to the grid.
And when I did start to save money, the enormous eyesore could *just* about generate enough electricity (after battery/conversion losses) to run a 1-bar electric fire if it was operating to it's perfect theoretical maximum. With reasonable averaging of windspeed, power, etc. I could *just* about get it to run a bulb or two in the shed 24/7 - energy saving ones at that.
This thing had four-foot blades, was bigger than and cost more than my car. It doesn't take a genius to look at that in realistic terms and instantly dismiss it as not viable. Even with the advantages and efficiences gained by scaling up, it's simple to see why wind is, pretty much, useless as a power source. (If you still need an analogy, it's like trying to power your kids toys by blowing on one of those handheld-fans and wiring it's battery contacts up to their Tonka).
The best bit was that EVERY bloke who walked past stopped and looked at it in admiration. I assume either brainwashing by the Green party or some sort of size comparison contest was in progress. Such was the interest generated by potentially "saving energy/money"that EVERY bloke looked. And then some of the more intelligent saw the numbers. The rest, I assume, already have one and are watching their voltmeters religiously to see when they start to claw their money back.
BTW: If you want an eye opener about your electricity usage, get a pre-pay meter. Seriously, you'll never believe the difference that turning on an electric heater/kettle makes.