Maybe developments in battery technology will allow the wind energy to get off the government tit? They are slowly beginning to advance battery tech, such as this article:
I remember reading in Science magazine about a molten salt battery that is much more efficient, but can’t find a link to it anymore. I think development work was going on in Europe.
In some places other energy storage schemes may make more
sense than batteries, like storing compressed air underground, flywheels, etc.
There are spans of days when the turbines aorund here do not turn, so batteries had better have a helluva lot of charge capacity. That is why the city in which I live has natural gas plants and the Greenies in Austin get the pleasure of the wind turbines (never mind that about 1/4 of the generated power is lost in transmission from here to Austin).
However, the utilities folks in the Smart Grid development effort (the one directed by NIST under the auspices of the White House per the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007) are looking at electric vehicle batteries to bridge the relatively short gap between a sudden reduction of wind/solar and when they can get other generation spun up and online.