Here at EcoOutfitters.net, it’s clear that we are big proponents of solar energy. But we are actually big proponents of all forms of clean, renewable energy. Right now, the top contender behind with solar power is wind power. Each form of renewable energy works well in different circumstances. We believe tomorrow’s world will include electricity generated by both of these technologies depending on the application.
Wind, solar or something else entirely, one thing is clear: Our world cannot continue to provide the standard of living people are used to with our existing electric systems, where electricity is generated by coal and other fossil fuels. Something has to change to keep energy affordable to everyone. We need to continue exploring alternative energy if we are to continue to power our computers, TVs, iPhones, iPads, and all the other technology we’ve grown to love, not to mention the heating and cooling systems we rely on to keep us comfortable and conveniences like refrigerators and electric stoves, which have become such a part of our life that most of us can’t imagine living without them.
Let’s assume, like so many Americans, that you’re already sold on alternative energy, and just need to know which system is better for you. Let’s explore some of the traits of solar and wind power to see why one may be better than the other in certain circumstances.
First, the similarities (good and bad) between solar power and wind power:
- Neither create pollution from their operation, unlike coal, oil and other fossil fuels
- Both have minimal impact on the surrounding environment
- Once the initial investment is paid off, both solar PV arrays and wind farms continue to produce clean electricity for decades with little-to-no maintenance
- Some people consider the equipment used to generate both forms of renewable energy “ugly” to look at
- People who know better understand that solar and wind power are our best bets for powering our planet with clean, affordable, renewable energy. Whether you’re talking about rooftop solar PV arrays or wind farms, here at EcoOutfitters.net, we believe these symbols of sustainability are beautiful in their own ways
Wind v. Solar: Efficiency and Practicality
In a number of studies done, wind power marginally beats out solar power in efficiency, but this varies by region and season. Solar power fares better in summer and fall, when the sun’s irradiance is highest, but wind power does better in the winter.
Then comes the question of practicality. We’ve mentioned time and again on this blog that nearly anyone, unless they live in the deep woods with very limited access to direct sunlight at any time of day, can benefit from a solar PV array.
On the other hand, homeowners would require a large expanse of open field or open water and moderately high winds to receive a good return-on-investment with wind power.
Wind and Solar: Energy Solutions for the Future
On a mass industrial scale, wind power fares well where there is open space available for a wind farm. Countries with the most successful renewable energy programs, like Germany, rely on a combination of solar and wind power to provide electricity on a mass scale.
If you’re wondering which source of clean, renewable energy is best for your home, talk to a contractor today. Many companies who provide solar installation services are also experts in wind and geothermal systems. EcoOutfitters.net can help match you up with the energy installer that’s right for you.