I still think that there are tidal schemes worth looking at since the tides are pretty constant whereas wind is variable, so if wind became a significant % of the total, calm days would present a big problem.Also, maybe all new houses ought to be strongly encouraged to be "energy neutral" with high insultion and solar panels etc.
With all the super computer power the met. office has, the weather still can only be forecasted not an absolute prediction. We do not know how taking energy (how ever small an amount) out of the winds, tides or even solar will effect our weather patterns or tidal flows. A small change could cause catastrophic effects many years down the line, by which time it's too late to fix it. The real break through will be in being able to store power, so that surplus generation can be kept for later use. Nuclear stations still work on the old thermal to steam turbine generation system, there must be a more efficient way. When the day comes that we really know what electricity is may be we will be able to make better use of it. These guys may even find the answer: click here
ought to be strongly encouraged to be "energy neutral" with high insultion and solar panels etc."
The building regulations already require a very high standard of insulation, and not just for new houses - every loft conversion and home extension is now built with considerable quantities of insulation incorporated into the fabric. Concrete floors have to have at least 100mm of rigid, high density foam under the concrete, roofs are heavily insulated between the joists, and cavity walls are constructed with special insulation filling the cavity. The idea is that the new structure is inside an insulation envelope.
More could be done of course, but regulators need to strike a balance between the ideal and the practical,so that construction costs remain at a reasonable level.