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Solar vs Wind Power: Which renewable energy is better?

Nowadays, solar and wind power have become the two most popular green energy sources. But going for the wrong choice can cause a tremendous financial loss. So which one suits your personal circumstances? Let’s look at the factors to gauge whether wind or solar is the best power source for you.

Location, location, location

Both wind turbines and solar panels have specific locations where they will have more advantages.

Wind turbines aren’t a good choice for populated areas. The wind in urban and suburban areas is highly affected by buildings, trees and other obstacles. This often results in poorer energy production. Also, the smallest residential wind turbines are 10 meters in height. These factors make wind a fit for homeowners on large parcels of land located in rural, windy regions.

The solar power system is less space-consuming and can be installed on the rooftops of houses, buildings, businesses. Solar power is usually the best choice for urban and suburban areas.

Noise

Wind turbines are notoriously noisy. You won’t hear a peep from a solar panel.

Consistency

A wind-based system doesn’t depend on the sun to generate power. It can produce electricity around the clock. But the weather is still a challenge for both wind and solar power.

Even with clouds, the solar panels will generate electricity, unlike wind turbines which won’t make any power with no or weak wind blowing.

Efficiency

Wind turbines on average harness 60% of the energy that passes through them, compared with the 18% - 22% efficiency of solar panels. Therefore, it is undeniable that a home wind turbine can produce more electricity than several solar panels.

But can doesn’t mean it will.

If you’re in a sheltered sunny spot in Nelson, solar panels will produce a lot more electricity than a wind turbine, because in urban areas if it it’s a lot harder to generate energy due to the lack of wind most days.

Reliability

Out of the two, solar panels require a lot less maintenance. There are no moving parts, also, the solar system is less susceptible to lightning and high wind damage.

Final thoughts

For most homeowners, solar panels are a better choice because solar is more predictable, requires less maintenance, and last but not least, it doesn’t add to already intense sound pollution levels. And, of course, most homes can easily add solar panels, but not everyone has enough space for a wind turbine. The role of wind is on a utility-scale.

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