Because of the fast depletion of natural resources, people are now considering switching over to using renewable sources of energy instead of traditional non-renewable ones. Sustainable energy such has wind energy and solar energy has made it possible for the present generation to meet their needs without compromising on the quality of the environment, especially with regard to the next generation.
The big question here is: Is wind energy better than solar energy? While solar energy requires solar panels for the purpose of gathering the sun’s rays, wind energy requires windmills for harnessing the power of wind. To say that one is better than the other without considering all advantages and disadvantages would be unfair. Like all other things, both wind energy and solar energy have their own pros and cons.
One of the main disadvantages of both forms of energy is that they are costlier than coal, which is a non-renewable source of energy and hence this is the main reason behind the refusal to switch over to sustainable energy by a majority of people. Coal is the first preference among wind and solar energy because the equipment required for it, i.e. the power plants are already paid for, unlike solar panels or windmills which require fresh investment. Moreover, coal generates more energy than both solar and wind power.
Wind turbines create wind power and here the kinetic energy of the wind is converted into mechanical energy with the help of a generator. The mechanical energy is later converted into electrical energy. In case of solar energy, solar panels are installed on the roofs or other open places to harness solar power and to convert it directly into electricity with the help of inverters.
In terms of cost, wind energy definitely has an advantage over solar energy because it is cheaper. The cost of the equipments needed to collect wind energy is not sky high, unlike the equipments required for solar energy which can run up to a hefty bill. Hence the start up cost of the corporate organizations using solar energy is quite high, making it undesirable.
In terms of availability of energy, solar power has an advantage over wind energy because sunlight is readily available everywhere, be it in rural or urban areas. However the availability of wind power is quite unpredictable because wind does not blow at all places and all year round. In fact it is more difficult to harness wind energy in urban areas in comparison to rural areas.
When it comes to the maintenance factor, solar energy is quite low-maintenance because the solar panels consisting of photovoltaic cells do not require much care. However the wind turbines often experiences problems such as cracking of blades due to rough weather.