There are plenty of us who would produce our own energy if it was affordable and aesthetically minimalist. The idea of installing a $50,000, 100-foot tall wind turbine in the back yard is not a proposition that would appeal to many, for instance.
But what if your wind power came from a device that integrated with your roof in such a way that it was barely noticeable? What if it only cost around $4,000? And what if that device provided you with almost all the electricity you ever needed?
You'd certainly consider it, wouldn't you?
Grenada's James Post would love it if you did. His SmartWind RidgeBlaster is a leading entry in GE's ecomagination Challenge; one of several ideas he has in the $200 million competition, which stops accepting ideas on March 15th.
But what is this great idea? It's a horizontal wind turbine that sits along the ridge of your roof, where the turbulence is greatest. No big windmill arms, just a long cylinder-like structure spinning innocuously at the top of your roof, and producing up to 1.8kW of electricity.
Post - who also happens to own an eco resort - says that the RidgeBlaster is still in the lab stage, but once he gets some funding, he'll quickly be ready to test some prototypes. If he is one of the five winners of this challenge, he will automatically pocket $100,000, and if GE show the same level of interest in his design that the voting public have, he could well be offered a commercial relationship with them "in early spring."
See what you think of his design by watching the video below, and then have a look at the other entries and vote for the ones that you believe are "the most promising technologies for our energy future":