The real advantage of wind is that it will not go up in the future.
"The twenty year capital payoff?"after 20 years (assuming that length of capital payoff),
Initial energy investment is around 60 MJ/W. Run for two years to recover that. Oops, average only 1/3 of installed capacity due to wind variability. Okay, six years. Oops again, the gear boxes have to be replaced every five years at about one quarter of original installation cost, and four gearboxes in twenty years doubles the six years to twelve (This is where Boeing bailed out in the 70s). We have yet to erect and maintain transmission lines from our wind farm to our customers, or to install and maintain gas turbine backup plants to service a customer base that is not going to settle for intermittent power. We've not done any of the washing, painting, and whatever other chores are involved in routine maintenance. Casualty losses from runaways due to failed governors, bird strikes, and ice storms add how much more to the energy overhead before we actually deliver power to customers? Another three or four years? A wind utility using 75% of its output just to operate makes for an awkward business model, ~ $8 per deliverable watt to the customer. Over twenty years is $.40 a year, or a nickel per kwh just in the "up front" hardware cost.
"It'll be competitive once the storage problem is licked to turn it into a "demand" rather than intermittent source." How much storage? How long does an average blizzard or hurricane or dust storm shut things down? A day? Time enough to reroute through a "smart" distribution network? Day's output from a one MW turbine operating at 1/3 output is eight thousand kwh. I can buy a Diehard for ~ $15/kWh. Utilities should be able to buy them in bulk for $5, times three for replacements over the twenty year life of the installation, is $120k for storage, plus a heated building (don't want to leave batteries to the mercy of the elements), plus inverters, plus switchgear. Closing in on running twenty years just to cover the energy requirement to manufacture and install the turbine and associated hardware yet? Now we've got an operating wind farm that reproduces itself and delivers essentially nothing to end users.
"That" being the crack about "less than honest" people, who slap a coat of "green paint" on a scam, and aggressively ignore questions about associated costs in terms of money or energy. Wyoming wind is about to the point where "Billy Joe and Bobby Sue" are going to live up to the song's lyrics; ranchers who took money up front for leases have been having checks bounce. SW Kansas --- don't know --- local governments have been suckers for every revenue bond scheme for fifty years, and there's still "gold in them there farm communities."I'm not really sure what you mean by that,