solar vs wind

Solar Energy vs. Wind Energy

A renewable energy system is one of the most effective ways to save money on your electric bills while reducing your carbon footprint. Homeowners have two main options for renewable energy: solar or wind. Both solar energy and wind energy have their advantages, though homeowners generally prefer solar power. Wind power is more popular among utilities and large scale operations.

Solar vs Wind Power

Overall, wind energy is more popular than solar. Of all the renewable energy produced in 2017, 21% came from wind and 7% came from solar. The main benefit of wind energy is that it’s not dependent on sunlight. In a perfect world, wind turbines have the ability to generate electricity all day, every day.

Solar panels, on the other hand, are more limited and can only produce electricity during daylight hours. Fortunately, solar technology continues to improve, making this less of an issue. Today’s solar panels are even effective in cloudy conditions and often produce a surplus of energy that can be used at night.

How Solar and Wind Energy Compare

Let’s look at specific aspects of solar and wind power and how each option stacks up.

  • Installation. Solar panels can be installed almost anywhere, including rooftops, poles, sides of buildings and the ground. As long as the panels face the sun, you’re fine. Wind turbines are less flexible and need an open area with no obstructions.
  • Noise pollution. Solar panels do not produce noise, which is important if you live in a suburban or urban area. Wind turbines can get loud. In fact, some of the smallest ones are the loudest!
  • Maintenance. Wind turbines have a lot of moving parts and will require more attention, especially as they suffer wear and tear. Solar panels are stationary and require very little maintenance.
  • Cost. A solar system is usually less expensive than a wind electric system. The panels are cheaper to install, and the incentives, rebates and ability to sell energy credits bring the cost down further.

Solar is Best for Residential Properties

Solar energy is the better choice on a smaller scale and a great renewable energy source. It’s more flexible to install, it doesn’t produce any noise and it’s more economical. Wind energy makes more sense on a utility level, such as when producing electricity for an entire town. Both are important parts of the renewable energy initiative. To learn more about the costs associated with installing a solar panel system on your home, contact Suntuity Solar today.