Solar vs. Wind: Which is the best option for your home?
With the increased importance of going green, more and more homeowners are beginning to consider clean energy options for their home. The alternative energy industries are relatively new so many consumers aren’t fully informed about the choices they have and the benefits and drawbacks of each. Wind and solar power are two growing alternative energy markets that many people speculate will play a critical role in sustaining our planet. While both wind and solar are clean energy sources, it is important to learn the pros and cons of each in order to determine which option is best for your home.
One benefit of wind power in comparison to installing a solar PV system is the lower initial cost. Studies have shown that the total cost per kWh produced is less for wind power. Therefore, at this time it is apparent that wind power is typically more cost effective than solar. Even though the initial cost of wind may be lower than solar, it is important to also consider the maintenance costs that will incur throughout the life of the system. Because PV systems have no moving parts, they require very little maintenance and can be operated unmonitored for extended periods of time. Every once in a while, the dust and dirt needs to be removed from the solar panels which can easily be done by spraying them off with water. On the other hand, due to the moving parts that comprise a wind turbine the system is much more complex and difficult to maintain. Another benefit of installing a solar system in comparison to a wind turbine is the unobtrusive nature of the system. In addition to the large size of a wind turbine, they tend to produce a considerable amount of noise in high wind conditions. Solar systems on the other hand make no noise and aren’t distracting to the residents. When considering these options, it is important to also factor in the local climate and weather patterns. Solar produces more energy during summer months, whereas wind tends to produce more during winter months. Some areas experience windy conditions and are therefore great for producing wind energy. In sunnier climates however, solar may be much more advantageous. The orientation of the home and yard space available also factor in to the feasibility of each system. Wind turbines are fairly large and require a large amount of yard space. They also need to be situated away from trees or structures that may obstruct the flow of the wind and hinder the efficiency of the system. For a solar PV system, an unobstructed Southern facing roof space is an ideal space to install the solar panels. As long as there is little or no shading and a large enough surface area, most roofs can accommodate a PV system. Investing in a clean energy source is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and save on future electric costs. When determining which is the best energy source for your home it is important to consider the location and orientation of your home and property, as well as the initial and future costs of each system. Having these clean energy options is great for the future of our planet. Both alternatives are very promising, so it’s now a matter of homeowners discovering which option is the most feasible for their home.