Wind and solar power complement each other – the sun may be shining when the wind is not blowing and vice-versa – and wind power is the cheapest form of renewable energy. (That may change, solar was catching up.)
The pro-fossil fuel and anti-wind power lobbies in Australia have been successful in producing a wide-spread and almost entirely undeserved mistrust of wind power.
Problems from wind powerYes, wind turbines produce some sound and that sound annoys some people. Others don't like to look at wind turbines. Building a wind farm, like building anything else, does cause some damage to land and takes a little land away from agricultural or pastural production. I have listed the real problems of wind power elsewhere on this site.
Problems from burning fossil fuelsHow do those few problems compare to the millions of deaths worldwide each year from the air pollution due to burning fossil fuels and the damage the fossil fuel industries do to our land, our water resources, our atmosphere and our oceans?
Nuclear has passed its day, if it ever had a day; it is more expensive than wind and solar power, there are significant dangers, the long-lasting waste is an unresolved problem that is left to future generations to live with, nuclear power it is not renewable and it is inflexible. A power station that cannot increase or decrease its output to match changing demand is of lower value than one that can. The cost of decommissioning a nuclear power station at the end of its life is horrendous, and who wants to live anywhere near a nuclear power station?
People demand cheap energy, the environment demands clean energy. Wind, solar, well-designed hydro and biomass are currently the only options that fill both demands. Biomass is limited by the amount that can be produced from the land and water supply we have available to us; hydro is limited by the available rivers that are suitable; wind and solar are almost unlimited.
The main obstacles to the development of wind power in AustraliaThere are several:
People who live near a proposed wind farm will see wind turbines, if they live close enough they will sometimes hear the turbines. On the other hand they could consider the good that those wind turbines will do for their community, their region, their state, their nation and the world. Unfortunately, in my experience, many put their own selfish interests first. I have discussed the question of selfishness or altruism elsewhere on this site.
I have written another page on why I support the local proposed wind farm, at Crystal Brook, South Australia.
If I can get a few of these people to look at the situation from a more altruistic viewpoint I will have achieved something.
In a better world: