Philippines: Wind Energy or Solar Power – Which is right for you?
The Philippines is one the blessed countries where you can run both wind and solar power just perfectly fine, but if you have to choose only one of the two, how would you know which is right for you?
Here in the Philippines, installing renewable energy system on your property is one of the best ways to save money on your electricity bills while reducing your impact on the environment. Often, Filipinos decision will be between solar energy and wind energy. If you’re a homeowner weighing your renewable energy options, you already know that thorough research is the best way to find the right system for your home.
In this article, we summarize everything you need to know about the benefits of residential wind vs. solar so that you can make your decision with confidence.
Wind vs. Solar: Comparing the Top Renewables for Residential
It really depends on your geographical location and energy requirements, but given the substantial investment involved with either option, it’s critical to select the right system for your needs from the outset. Getting it wrong can cause you not only great expense, but major headaches.
In other countries, wind power is significantly more popular than solar. Out of all the renewable energy produced in the U.S. for example in 2017, 21% came from wind, while just 7% came from solar power. Utilities and large scale operations prefer heavily utilize wind energy while homeowners prefer solar energy.
The primary benefit of wind over solar power for your home is that wind turbines aren’t dependent on sunlight. This means that they have the ability to generate power 24 hours a day, whereas solar panels only generate power during sunlight hours. Wind comes with a significant caveat, however: in order to be effective, wind turbines need to be situated high above any obstacles that would block the wind.
A typical wind turbine for residential use is about 80 feet tall, and it needs to be in the path of some serious wind to produce power efficiently. Most installers recommend sites with average wind speeds of at least 12 miles per hour. If you live in a rural, windy area with lots of open space and few obstructions blocking the wind’s path, then installing wind turbines at your property can be a great option for renewable energy production. If you’re looking for a supplementary power source, rather than a primary one, you can also find smaller wind turbines at a relatively low cost that will provide an extra ‘boost’ of electricity.
In contrast, solar panels can be installed on almost any roof, as well as on the ground, and still produce enough power to meet the majority of your electricity needs.
Wind turbines on the other hand have moving parts, which can result in more wear-and-tear and higher maintenance requirements. Unlike ground-mounted solar panels with a tracking system (a technology generally reserved for utility solar installations), your solar PV system will be stationary and require limited maintenance.
An experiment by Inland Power & Light, a utility in the Pacific Northwest, underscores the comparative benefits of residential solar. After fielding many inquiries about the benefits of solar vs. wind energy for homes, the utility actually installed both technologies at their corporate headquarters in Spokane, Washington to provide a definitive answer to their customers. Their result: Over the course of 14 months, the solar panels produced about five times as much electricity as the wind turbine.
Wind turbines are an effective source of renewable power in many areas across the world. To make sure a small wind system is right for you, there are some important initial points to consider:
- You have at least 4.5 m/s (16 KPH ) average wind speed. The best results at 18 KPH (5.4 m/s) or more.
- Your property is unobstructed from tall buildings and trees. Ideally, you should have 0.5 acres or more
- The local zoning allows a structure that is at least 12.8 m (42 feet) tall
- Your local utility has an existing interconnection agreement
If this doesn’t sound like your scenario, you’d likely be better off installing a solar power system.
Whatever renewable energy option you’re considering, it’s always a good idea to compare multiple offers before making a final decision. Solar can save you thousands on your electricity bills. Want to see for yourself? Contact our in-house solar engineers to get an instant estimate of how much solar could save you.