I was enthusiastic for a long time, until I came to understand the massive amount of land they require, and the effect of having, not a few tens, or a couple hundred, but thousands of them in an area. There used to be a very beautiful view driving through the Pass on Interstate 10 or roads paralleling it. Towering above is Mt. San Jacinto at almost 11,000 feet. In one sweep of your gaze you could follow its line from that height to below sea level on the desert floor. Majestic. Gorgeous. And now, that view is gone, violated by rows and rows of turbines, just one huge generating plant. And the same on the other side of the pass, except on that side the Painted Hills, where I walked and took so many pictures, are now cris-crossed with rows of turbines. More than 5000 acres through the Pass, over 3000 of them public land.
The San Gorgonio Pass, the Bay Area's Altamont Pass, and Tehachapi Pass south of the Central Valley, comprise 95% of California's wind power capacity, and annually claim thousands of birds, large and small, sparrows to eagles. The birds (and most humans) do not understand the actual speed of those huge turbine blades.
The total amount of California's electricity that wind produces for all those thousands of acres of land, all that visual blight, all those bird deaths, all the 30+ years of heavy subsidies just to get it to the point of something close to competitive? 1.5% That's right. One and a half percent. Less than one terawatt.
And the best wind power areas are already taken. It cannot be efficiently expanded much more.
The wind power companies make a big deal out of the present wind power being able to power a city the size of San Francisco. Big deal, indeed. San Jose is bigger than San Francisco. So is San Diego. And of course, L.A. is larger than those three combined.
I think wind is fine for someone going off the grid in a rural area, if that's what they want. But in my opinion, large-scale wind power sucks.