Wind energy is a form of renewable energy, currently comprising 3.3% of US energy production as of 2011 according to Energy.gov. Wind energy is limited in it's ability to replace our dependance on fossil fuels because of it's energy return on energy invested (EROI), as well as, wind energies infrequent and unpredictable nature. That is, when the wind doesn't blow, there is no energy being produced.
Furthermore, this infrequent and unpredictable nature of wind power is inherently limited by today's energy infrastructure, which isn't suited to deal with this aspect in an efficient and dependable manner. Also, the power produced by wind energy farms is often far from existing power stations and infrastructure, causing increased costs and loss of energy through heat loss in the transmission lines. The further the energy must travel, the less energy is being used by the consumer.
(CC Image of wind power (right) resources and transmission lines circa 2006 By National Renewable Energy Laboratory [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons) (Click to enlarge)
All of these issues, including perverse subsidies that create a monetary disadvantage, lead to a higher energy cost for a product that is less reliable and more expensive. Aside from the clear and definitive problems with wind energy, most sustainability minded scientists agree that wind is, and will continue to be, an essential facet of transitioning to a culture, society, and world without fossil fuel dependence. A critical action if we are avert the dire predictions purported by the IPCC, as well as, a step in moving towards a economically and socially just society that values egalitarian and community ideals.
(CC Image courtesy of Timothy Tolle via Flickr)