Windpower is certainly a candidate for the perfect imperfect energy.
It is uneconomic to produce and more uneconomic to transmit. It is unreliable moment-to-moment (the intermittency problem). It is at its worst when it needs to be at its best (those hot summer days). Its aesthetics are bad. It attracts the worst political capitalists (the late Ken Lay, the current T. Boone Pickens). W. S. Jevons was right in 1865 when he concluded that windpower was unsuitable for the industrial age.
Add another problem that is worse for windpower than conventional electric generation: weather risk.
Lightning strikes and other wind-centric problems have long been described in the trade press, but here is a new one. It concerns an attempt by wind developers in Texas (the state with a stringent wind mandate) to build closer to where the load is. As reported in ClimateWire (subscription) by reporter Evan Lehmann:
Two climate-related ventures — state-subsidized storm insurance and a surge in coastal wind turbine farms — appear to be heading for a showdown in Texas.
The state’s shaky hurricane insurance program might expand its coverage to include private wind farms as hundreds of turbines begin to dot its exposed gulf coastline, igniting concerns that taxpayers could shoulder the cost of replacing a company’s wrecked windmills.
The new problem has surfaced in regard to two projects in Kenedy Country that need coverage from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. TWIA does not want to provide this given all the problems it is going through from Ike and may go through again with the next hurricane. The problem: the $3.5 million turbines will partially or completely destruct in a Category 4 or Category 5 hurricane (around 120–130 miles per hour winds and higher).
The annual insurance premium for the coastal wind parks structures is estimated to be between $125,000 and $350,000 per turbine, the article goes on to state.
Yet another reason why windpower is unsuited for the modern energy economy…. it is dispersed and fragile.