Harnessing the power of the wind is not a new concept. Windmills, for example, were once used as a way of milling large quantities of corn and grain for consumption and sale. Wind turbines can also be used to pump water into homes and storage towers on places that are off the grid for one reason or another. The current, large-scale wind projects are now used to feed the power grid. They are a clean, sustainable block in an ever increasing mosaic of innovative technologies designed to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels.
Though unpredictable in its power-generation, combined with solar and biogas, wind power has the promise of providing relatively reliable power to people that are isolated from grid power structures. The turbines themselves are robust and dependable and any negative effects - primarily sound pollution and hazards to local bird and bat populations - are negligible in most scenarios. In fact, new technologies are currently being developed to mitigate these issues.
In 2016, engineers in Pennsylvania used a feather of the owl, the most silent of the birds of prey, to decrease the sound produced by wind turbines. Using a 3D printer, they have been able to inexpensively reproduce the downy canopy of feathers that remove high frequencies when the owls are in flight. This improvement has helped reduce the noise level without any apparent effect on aerodynamics.