What follows is a list of reasons compiled by this German site here on why wind is a poor source of power.
There are eight disadvantages that cannot be ignored, the site writes. What follows are the eight reasons along with my own descriptions.
1. Unstable, erratic power supply
The wind doesn’t blow constantly, and so the supply is unstable and wildly fluctuating. In many locations the wind may disappear for days or even weeks at a time. Then in periods of high winds the power grid can become overloaded, or the turbines have to be shut down to avert serious mechanical damage. Overall wind turbines in Germany put out only a lousy 18% of their installed rated capacity.
2. Wind turbines are expensive
The ROI for turbines can take many years, and makes sense only in places where the wind blows often, e.g. coastal areas, offshore or hill tops. But that makes the installation far more expensive. Many investors have seen very disappointing results from wind projects. Moreover in Germany, electricity prices have skyrocketed over the past years in large part due to the mandatory feed-in of wind energy.
3. Excess power is extremely difficult to store
So far scientists and engineers are a long way from finding a solution for storing electricity. Batteries are expensive and heavy, and require massively extensive mining operations. Pump storage techniques are possible only in limited places, and they too are horribly inefficient. Converting wind-generated electricity into a gas such as hydrogen and then back into electricity when wind is calm is expensive and inefficient as well.
4. Destruction of natural habitat
As installing wind turbines in residential areas is problematic, wind parks often are located in rural or natural areas – even in the middle of forests. This entails the industrialization of natural habitats. Plants and wildlife lose their habitats, or are adversely affected. Areas are often deforested to make way for the turbines. Access roads rip though the forests, permanently damaging or even destroying the local biotope. The same is true for offshore turbines. Turbines often pose a hazard to endangered species.
5. Bird kill: death from turbine blades
If industrializing natural landscape were not bad enough, wind turbines are also a real hazard to migrating birds. Each year millions of birds are (unnaturally) killed by wind turbines worldwide. According to Nature, up to 440,000 birds are killed in the USA each year. Conventional power plants on the other hand, do not kill anywhere near as many birds. Wind turbines also kill many bats.
6. Danger from flying ice
In the wintertime, ice is known to form and build up on the blades, only later to dislodg and be thrown projectiles, posing a danger to people and property located nearby. Already near misses have been recorded.
7. Aesthetics and property values
In early times wind turbines were a fascination. But today they are much larger in size and people have grown tired of their ugliness. In North Germany, for example, it is often difficult to leave your home without having to see one. In Germany there have been literally hundreds on citizens initiatives against the construction of wind parks. People are fed up with the industrial blight in the middle of Natur that wind energy really is.
Ugly wind turbines seriously depress property values.
8. Wind turbines produce noise and infrasound
Wind turbines are not quiet. Moreover they produce infrasound: low frequency sound below the human threshold of hearing. However, infrasound is sensed by the inner ear as pressure pulses that have been scientifically found to make people ill and even damage their health.