I was just alerted to a new article in the journal of the European Physical Society on wind turbines (h/t to Francis Massen). The electrical benefits and costs of wind turbines is not in my area of expertise, but this is a provocative article that should have wide dissemination and discussion.
The article is
C. le Pair, F. Udo and K. de Groot, 2012: – turbines as yet unsuitable as electricity providers. Europhysicnews DOI: 10.1051/epn/2012204Wind
The abstract reads
Wind turbines have been widely accepted as electricity producers thanks to claims that wind comes free of charge, and each kWh thus produced replaces a kWh provided by conventional techniques, i.e., it saves the fossil fuel otherwise needed. However, these assumptions have never been validated in existing power distribution systems even after the installation of as much as 86 GW of wind power in Europe alone.
The conclusion reads
Decisions to install large-scale wind-powered electricity generation are based more on the expectation to save significant amounts of fossil fuel and CO2 emission than on any evidence that this is indeed the case. Wind technology is not suited for large-scale application without a good buffer and storage system. We propose to stop spending public money on large-scale use of wind. This money should be spent on R&D of future power systems. We expect that wind will not play an important role in these future systems.