Was watching a program on the future of renewable energy. Those working on development seem to agree that wind will not be a part of the long term solution, The problem has been the same for 5000 years. Getting reliable use out of a variable speed, slow moving fluid we have zero control over. I believe that ultimately wind power would be better utilized by the individual generating their own power. The biggest problem though is they want to change the energy paradigm without altering the economics of power generation and distribution. What I mean is unlike fossil fuels, wind and solar lend themselves well to individual energy self-reliance. That's where the focus should have gone instead of commercial-scale wind and solar. Although I AM coming around on commercial-scale solar at least. In the right environment it would generate pretty reliable power and the batteries used for storage in reflector arrays are surprisingly basic yet effective.Sure. The "shut down fossil NOW" lefties are just as bad as the "Fossil forever!" righties.
Wind has a role. It'll never be sole source unless we get a superconducting transmission grid, but it can provide more or less of the load depending on the breeze.
I do some work with communications satellites. If satellites can frequency-hop hundreds of times per second to avoid mutual interference, surely a computer system can integrate the input of less than a dozen sources to meet the need.
We just need fewer True Believers and more engineers.
One large issue that still needs to be worked out is lifespan. Wind turbines and solar panels have a lifespan of 20-25 yrs for wind and around 30yrs for solar. That means that every 20-30 years we will have to replace every wind and solar farm we build. That also means we're going to have to figure out a way to dispose of a LOT of toxic waste, although I don't think pitted and worn out reflector panels would cause anywhere near the same issue as dead PV panels.
But ultimately it comes down to how fast it happens. Based on the World Bank estimates, the net-zero by 2050 goal likely isn't workable, if not irresponsible. For example when it comes to workable, silver will be in high demand. One of the largest silver mines in the world is in Mexico and comprises some 40 sq miles. It's estimated there's a decades worth of silver extraction there and that was three years ago. In order to meet the 2050 target we'll need another 20 silver mines the size of any of the largest silver mines. It's questionable if there's that many commercial size silver deposits left on Earth. And that's just one of many minerals and rare earth elements that'll need to see a massive increase in production.
If we rush things and aren't smart about it all we'll end up doing is causing massive ecological and habitat destruction. And speaking of, I always get a laugh out of the animal rights nuts busy tapping away on their stupid phones seemingly blissfully ignorant of the fact that touch screen technology is hastening the demise of the mountain gorillas in central Africa and their habitat. And the handful I've tried pointing it out to have blown it off, either denying it or backhandedly justifying their continued use of the technology.