No. Most industrial wind and solar energy developments don't provide electricity to local or surrounding, communities. Often, these projects are developed by, or sold to, energy providers (utility companies) that service larger urban areas. In fact, many existing host communities now report that their electrical rates, have actually increased since wind energy projects became operational within their communities.
Not currently and not in the near future. Solar and wind are intermittent energy sources, meaning they're not able to produce electricity "on demand". Modern turbines require wind speeds of about 7-12 mph to produce more electricity than they consume. Therefore, wind and solar energy production is dependent upon "instant start-up" support, such as gas-fired electrical plants, to meet peak demands. Feasible and safe methods for storing wind and solar energy is years, if not decades, in the future.
You would think so . . . and you'd be wrong. The truth is, nearly every U.S. energy source receives tax subsidies to some degree. Wind energy however, receives more federal Production Tax Credits, than all other energy producers combined. Industrial wind energy receives ongoing federal tax subsidies because, unlike other energy sources, wind and solar energy production simply isn't self-sustainable. If tax subsidies were to end, so would industrial wind and solar production
Again, you would think so. It seems reasonable to expect that they should but, unfortunately, this hasn't been the case. Green energy initiatives, of which wind energy makes up the largest part, are politically very influential and financially very well funded (almost entirely with taxpayer dollars). In order to advance industrial-scale wind and solar projects relatively quickly in the U.S., state and federal authorities are giving these developments the "green light" before all of the facts, effects, and concerns of such developments are properly and fairly studied. Typically, the burden of protecting the well-being of local citizens falls squarely on the shoulders of small city and county commissions, which are often ill-prepared to deal with projects of such magnitude and complexity.
The renewable energy industry addresses this question by stating something like, "wind turbines release no CO2 emissions". This statement (which doesn't answer the question) is absolutely true; they release no CO2 emissions. They do, however release a potent man-made greenhouse gas called Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). It has the highest global warming potential of ANY known substance - in fact, it's 23,500 times more damaging than CO2. SF6 is used in a variety of medium to high voltage switchgear application (relays, switches, etc.). It's an effective arc suppressor as well as an insulating agent. While there are viable and more environmentally friendly, alternatives to SF6 for medium voltage applications (like the switchgear found in wind turbines), those other options are more costly and therefore, less desirable to developers.