Though they are both sustainable sources of energy, both of these forms of energy production are extremely expensive to create. Because solar energy is a relatively new form of energy, the materials and production of the final product are both complicated and expensive to create. Wind energy, though not new, is still quite expensive to make and maintain. The reason is because the turbines you see driving along the road are massive structures and have many components to clean, replace, and maintain throughout said turbines' life. So, though at face value, these are cheap, easy forms of energy, they actually are rather expensive ways to harvest energy. But, they are sustainable, and as long as the wind still blows and the sun shines, these forms of energy will always be viable.
To say that it is needed is perhaps wrong but to say that it is desirable as a form of energy generation in correct. The main reason cited is that is is a sustainable source of energy (i.e. there will always be wind and the production of energy from wind turbines has no detrimental impact on the environment (other of course you dislike the aesthetic impact) as opposed to the burning of fossil fuels or the risk of readio-active contamination from nuclear power plants.
There are two main types of thermal energy - solar and geothermal. Solar energy is renewable and sustainable, and after the initial investment, is free. Geothermal energy is renewable, sustainable, and clean reducing reliance on foreign energy sources. The disadvantages are mostly financial because of the start up costs. While solar is an individual form of energy, geothermal requires large generation plants. Also solar viability is dependent on the amount of sunshine the area receives.
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