Solar power is generated from solar radiations that reach the Erath’s surface and the photovoltaic cells present inside the solar panels absorb these radiations and convert them into electricity (Patel, 2006). The wind power is also a form of solar energy, as it is caused by the difference in atmospheric pressure when hot air lifts above a certain level (Aaron, 2019). The wind is used to run wind turbines that generate electricity. Therefore, these sources produce clean and renewable energy to minimize the production of harmful pollutants in the air that mostly results from other energy resources such as fossil fuels (Patel, 2006). However, despite being potentially clean and renewable energy sources, both wind and solar powers have significant differences in their applications, efficiency, and reliability as discussed in the following essay.
The basic similarity between solar and wind power is that they are renewable and clean sources of energy. Fossil fuels that have been used for decades have polluted the environment significantly by causing the greenhouse effect, climate change, acid rain, and other similar destructive phenomena (Patel, 2006). Therefore, to deal with this problem of harmful pollutants from the combustion of fossil fuel in power plants, solar and wind are the most suitable alternative as they have zero levels of emissions. Also, more importantly, conventional energy resources are not renewable as their reserves are depleting exponentially every year. In comparison, solar and wind energy are a sustainable source of energy (Patel, 2006).
However, solar and wind power differ significantly in their area of application. Solar power is certainly not available at night while the performance of the solar panels also depends heavily on the weather conditions. Therefore, to use solar power at night or in bad weather, permanent batteries will need to install which makes it an expensive energy source. In contrast, wind turbines can function irrespective of time and weather conditions (Patel, 2006). On the other hand, considering the time for installation and space required, solar panels can be easily used for domestic power production while wind energy is not a viable source in this regard as they are installed permanently and often involve complex procedures of installation on a large scale (Aaron, 2019). However, the efficiency of both solar and wind power depends on location and climate (Patel, 2006). In some regions, the wind is more predictable than clouds while in some regions sunlight is more predictable as compared to wind. Thus, their application varies from region to region.
There are also big differences between solar power and wind power with regards to their operation and reliability. For example, solar power does not involve any moving components and, therefore, it does not create any kind of pollution. Also, it requires relatively little maintenance annually because no complex mechanism is involved (Aaron, 2019). But wind energy is a source of noise pollution and it heavily depends on the wind turbine which requires maintenance on daily basis performed by expert individuals only. This makes solar power more reliable and easier to sustain the source of energy, but it is limited to only those regions that have sunlight for a longer duration in a year.
Solar power and wind power are some of the most suitable energy resources that do not emit any harmful pollutants like conventional energy resources and are potential alternatives for oil and gas power plants. However, their usability and effectiveness are largely influenced by their application. For example, solar energy is more effective for domestic use while wind energy is produced on a large scale. Moreover, solar energy does not involve frequent maintenance and does not produce any noise while wind energy requires daily maintenance and produces noise pollution.
Aaron. (2019, July 7). Solar vs. Wind Power Comparison | Which One Is Better for Your Home? Axion Power. https://www.axionpower.com/knowledge/solar-vs-wind/
Patel, M. R. (2006). Wind and solar power systems : design, analysis, and operation. Taylor & Francis.