They even talk about using wind power to create hydro power!
"Wind Power: Maybe This Time" Economist (03/10/01) Vol. 358, No. 8212, P. 30 Wind power has had a history full of good intentions but little action, mainly because wind power has not been able to compete economically or in terms of reliability with fossil fuel-generated electricity. However, California's continuing energy crisis, sky-high natural gas prices, and the major technological advances wind power has made over the past 20 years, may grant wind power a more competitive advantage. Among the inroads wind power has made is the fact that it now costs $1.3 million--about one-twentieth what it did in the 1980s--to set up a large turbine. Furthermore, these turbines are 120 times more powerful than previous models. Not only is the price of erecting a turbine reasonable, but the time it takes to set one up, which can be less than a year, compares very favorably to the generally five-year process of constructing a new-gas fired plant, or the interminable process of building a hydro plant. Today's turbines are also more reliable than their predecessors, working about 98 percent of the time. In addition, because the blades of new turbines tend to be much longer than those of their predecessors, and rotate much more slowly, they are not as big a threat to birds, according to EPRI's Chuck McGowin. With all these improvements, however, wind power still faces some obstacles, such as its utter dependence on the uncontrollable wind, which often tends to blow harder during the middle of the day when electricity demand is low, and softer in the evening when demand rises. While some companies have devised ways to get around this problem by using high wind power to pump water up a hill during low demand times, and then letting the water flow back down to run turbines and create electricity at high demand times, such processes are difficult and costly. (www.economist.com)