In 1991 a government wind-resources inventory concluded that three states-Kansas, North Dakota and Texas-had enough available, harnessable wind energy to meet the entire country´s electricity needs. Today that finding looks like an underestimate. The price of wind energy has dropped by 85 percent over the past 20 years-in large part due to increased turbine efficiency, a result of work by labs like the one in Colorado. In many parts of the country, electricity consumers can opt to purchase wind-generated power. Their rate is often locked in for years, allowing residents to essentially make a long-term bet on the cost of wind verses traditional polluting sources like coal. Those bets are already starting to pay off, with wind buyers in Colorado and Texas, for example, seeing lower utility bills earlier this year. As fossil-fuel costs rise, the savings could become much greater.