wind is intermittent; but it doesn't melt down, and storage can be done with hydro, pumped hydro or electric cars
But you need to plan to replace the wind turbines about every 12 years, and this cost must be factored in to the cost of the power.
Hydro is mature. All the good locations already have hydro plants; and environmentalists are trying to get existing hydro plants torn out to benefit river wildlife, so just forget about building new hydro plants.
I'm pretty sure pumped hydro storage is in a similar situation... you need a giant reservoir uphill of a source of lots of water you can pump. Where can you build a new one of these, and will the environmentalists approve?
Using a decentralized group of electric cars as an energy-storage system is an interesting idea, but I don't think you can dependably store very much that way in the near future.
I have hopes for molten-salt solar plants, which can keep producing power after the sun goes down because the salt holds so much heat. And it would be cool if we could work out a good way to use hydrogen to store excess energy from wind or solar... but it takes a lot of electricity to strip hydrogen out of water, and hydrogen is tricky to store.
And just as you will face opposition to building more hydro, you will face opposition to building solar in the desert.
Nuclear is more expensive than wind, and is also poor at load following; you normally find nuclear needs hydro as well; because it's so expensive to build it runs flat out and then the hydro does the load following- nuclear is better for baseload.
I agree with your final statement; nuclear is indeed better for base load and not good at load-following. But probably natural gas is a better near-term way to reliably follow loads.
By all means get renewables into the mix, but don't make the same mistake the U.K. made, wasting huge sums of money on a system that doesn't work very well. (Right when demand is most heavy in winter, the wind farms stop producing. Quote: "In winter, when the most intense cold period coincides with a high pressure front, most wind turbines do not work.")
One no-brainer idea: homes and businesses in warm places (Arizona, Florida, Texas, etc.) should have solar panels on the roof. This will produce peak power during peak demand times (when everyone is running the air conditioning, the sun will be shining). This is only a tiny part of the overall energy picture, though, and will happen on its own as the cost of solar panels keeps falling.