Wind power: Even worse than you thought pretty well tells you the story. Wind power in its current incarnation is not a solution to renewable energy needs. The created market in renewables obligation certificates is keeping wind farm operators in business, not the selling of energy.
So it sounds like we need (e.g.) better storage, to deal with the timing issues, a pan-European grid to move energy from where it is windy to where it is needed and some new thinking about renewables.
Oh yes, and another way of expressing consumer preference: I liked Ecotricity for exactly the reason that it tried to invest more of my money in renewables than other energy companies. Sadly it looks like that might have been slightly wasted.
I think limiting the study to the UK’s examples alone, and focussing on large turbines, would give a skewed picture of the potential in wind power. Several advocates argue in favour of small wind turbines aiming to reduce local demand, rather than large installations aiming to augment or substitute for conventional supplies to the national large-area grid. There is considerable inherent loss in large area grids, after all, where with highly local turbines, demand is met locally.
There was a time in the US when every farm had at least one, and often several, windmill turbines: they took care of the pumps for running water and stock irrigation, and all the electrical needs of considerable farmsteads. There is no reason why that degree of localisation wouldn’t be a positive contributor to carbon reduction in the UK, but wind isn’t, at present technologies, a large-is-beautiful fix. That’s the problem.