Why Isn’t Residential Wind Power as Popular as Solar?

August 19, 2016

When we think about renewable energy, we tend to think of solar power, wind energy and maybe biomass or tidal power as runners-up. The top two forms of renewable energy that are most commonly used in the United States happen to be wind and solar, with wind power production being mostly relegated to high-capacity, industrial systems that can well exceed $2 million per wind turbine. Sure, there are smaller scale turbine farms that might serve a local, off-grid consumer base but for the most part, residential customers in particular do not opt for wind energy. So why is this?

First and foremost, it’s important to note that energy from the sun is literally everywhere during the day. Even when the wind isn’t blowing and clouds happen to be around, harnessing energy from sunlight is still very feasible. This fact is often lost on those who think that solar panels won’t work in cloudy conditions – sure they will, just with less efficiency. So when we look at candidate locations for wind turbines versus those ideally suited for solar power systems, we immediately find that there’s much more of a geographical market to be developed for solar versus wind.

Secondly, wind turbines are costly to maintain. Even if you did live in a place with very high winds and very low direct sunlight, the ongoing cost to maintain a wind turbine would have to be a part of your annual budget. With solar power, ongoing maintenance is hardly even a concern. Add that to the fact that solar energy production hardware is engineered to last for multiple decades and, well, the choice is obvious, as the large number of moving parts on a power turbine means a lot of costly attention.

When thinking about your own home or business, you’ve probably considered adding solar power at some point. What could help you most right now would be a energy assessment, which we can get started on right away. Just contact us!