It is universally agreed that we need to look into more sustainable sources of energy to power our every activity. Whether you believe in global warming or not, there is no arguing that the fossil fuels that have enabled us to develop and advance to the extent we have are running out, and we need to look at more sustainable, renewable energy options.
There are plenty of varieties of renewable energy to choose from, but the most popular and (for the time being) most developed options use solar panels and wind turbines to harness energy from the natural world.
Wind turbines are by a distance the most productive option. Not only do they generate energy more efficiently they also can work 24 hours a day where solar panels have a much more limited window to produce electricity (particularly in the UK). That said, they are not the most popular choice with the general public. They are noisy and ugly, and in order to be at their most efficient have to be in open spaces of countryside. Not only do they stand out painfully they have also been shown to cause damage to the ecosystems they are placed in, killing birds and causing havoc for the local wildlife in general.
There are practical issues as well. With so many moving parts they require a lot of maintenance, so while they are cheaper to install (for the value of electricity produced) they require a huge amount of ongoing servicing throughout their lifetime.
In contrast, a set of high quality solar panels will mostly just need a bit of cleaning in order to continue to produce at their maximum levels.
Equally, solar energy is a bit harder to predict. It takes a lot of panels to produce the power of one turbine taking up space and arguably becoming an eyesore in their own right, so while they remain more popular from an environmental point of view they are not without their own problems.
Which is Right For You?
From a quick look at the above it seems fairly clear that neither of these options in their current forms are going to be a long term solution to our energy problem. That said, both of these options and other ideas are being constantly developed and explored to perfect the technology. For the short term though, when it comes to weighing up the pros and cons we believe that it is solar energy that is the better option.
This might seem a little surprising given that they are the less efficient and more expensive option but the purpose of renewable energy isn’t jus to harness energy from the world around us, it is to do it in the least impactful way. Otherwise, we are just creating another, different set of problems for ourselves down the track and for that reason, solar panels offer the best solution in the short term but who knows what will be developed over the next few years…
Watch the video below to find out if Wind and Solar Energy is really worth the effort: