It seems every source of energy has critics determined to kill it. Wind energy is no different from natural gas in that important respect.
Like gas, no doubt exists that wind has weaknesses as well as strengths. But the partisan critics of wind that seek its demise exaggerate or outright concoct claims to justify their opposition. For example, some opponents of wind are fond of saying that the carbon or air pollution benefits of running wind turbines are erased by the need to operate increasing amounts of typically gas-fired back up power as the percentage of wind rises.
New actual, operational data from the UK again debunks the claim that more wind means as much or more carbon. Instead a study of actual data in the UK reveals that one more megawatt-hour of wind reduces total gas generation by about an equal amount. www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/sep/26/myth-wind-turbines-carbon-emissions. Back-up generation systems are not erasing the carbon benefits of wind, even on a record wind production day.
In fact, the data includes a new record production day for wind in the UK, September 14th, when wind supplied 10% of the nation's power. On a typical day, wind provides 6% of the island nation's electricity, as compared to about 3% in the US.
The bottom line of the operational data in the UK is that the amount of carbon displaced rises with the amount of wind generated. Windy days mean less carbon in the UK system. And that again takes into account the emissions from back up generation!