Just because wind-power is the flavour of the month ATM does not give its backers carte-blance to get special treatment under planning laws that are meant to protect sensitive landscapes, protected areas/species etc. Wind-power like any other industrial development should be subject to vigourous analysis by planning experts and a robust EIS process. In the UK conservation organisations like the RSPB have produced guidline maps of the country highlighting areas that are deemed sensitive and less sensitive to wind farm developments based on a formula that takes account many of the factors mentioned above. In Scotland a similiar set of planning guidelines is about to be officially adopted so as to guide the industry as to where projects will be allowed planning. A similiar system is badly needed in this country given the rather chaotic approach to granting wind farm applications which also varies widly between County Councils.
In answer to the op, no.
Every form of energy production depends on storage either as fuel, petrol/diesel/kerosene or the coal/gas for electricity generation, nuclear power has always needed electricity storage for its economics so its no surprise that wind/wave generation will also require storage.
patslatt, add up the GW figures in your post above and you will see that your OP is based on the minority of wind generation projects studied.NREL: Power Technologies Energy Data Book - Wind Farm Area Calculator has a study "Land use requirements for modern wind power plants in the United States" showing in the concluding section widely varying figures:
-93 projects,14 GW capacity,0.3 plus or minus 0.3 hectares/MW capacity for direct impact including roads
-52 projects,9 GW capacity,0.7 plus or minus 0.6 hectares /MW capacity,implying total direct impact area on both temporary* and permanent disturbed land of about 1 plus or minus 0.7 hectare/MW
-161 projects of 25 GW of capacity,excluding several outliers,average value for the total project area was about 34 plus or minus 22 hectares/MW,equal to a capacity density of 3 plus or minus 1.7/MW/km squared.
The latter figure is close to the 82 acres a megawatt used as the basis for calculation in the opening post,so do you still object to it?
*land can be restored to normal use
The wind resource in Ireland is superior therefore the land area required will be less. Nobody is under any illusion that wind generation will remain a subsidised form of generation in Ireland therefore connection costs must be minimised, this is easier to accomplish in a concise configuration.
That said,motorways are essential in a modern economy but we may have built too many to serve lightly populated areas. As for railways,they are unobtrusive as most of the area around the tracks is grassland. In the case of the new London Birmingham railway project,a few exceptional scenic landscapes are to be protected by rail tunnels.