Here’s the thing: wind energy is about to get really cheap and it’s already pretty cost-effective (even when the Production Tax Credits go away). In fact, the CEO of Nextera, America’s largest renewables energy developer, recently predicted that we will see wind power delivered at 2-3 cents per kilowatt-hour without subsidies in the next five years owing to improved technologies. And indeed, costs today continue to come down as turbines get more efficient at delivering energy.
What does cheaper wind do? Among other things, more electricity from wind could free up natural gas for export while making America more energy independent. And yes, one has to firm up intermittent wind resource (natural gas generation does this quite well), but the best turbines now offer better than a 50% capacity factor (meaning that they are capable of delivering 50% or more of their rated capacity over the course of the year).