home wind turbine vs solar panels

Home wind turbine vs solar panels: which do I need?

The world is heating up. If last year’s heatwaves are anything to go by, we must do all we can to stop it. But what can we do? Reducing our carbon emissions is vital – and renewable energy in the home seems like a good place to start.

Solar panels have long been a popular source of renewable energy for homeowners. Recently, however, home wind turbines have also started to see an uptick in popularity.

This begs the question of which is better: home wind turbine vs solar panels? While both have pros and cons, the most logical choice for the vast majority of homeowners is solar.

Let’s take a closer look.

Home wind turbine vs solar panels: cost

While both systems typically require a fair-sized initial investment, solar comes out on top from a price perspective. On average, the cost of a solar panel system is £7,860.

Home wind turbine pricing, meanwhile, is less straightforward. For example, a roof-mounted wind turbine will cost you about £2,000 for a 1–2 kW system. Unfortunately, this kind of system won’t generate much power for your home, and so recouping that cost will take some time. Then, for standalone home wind turbines, you’re looking at anywhere between £7,000-£70,000.

Given the growth of the renewable sector in the past few decades, it’s worth noting that these prices are set to fall. But it’s not just the upfront cost that needs to be considered. Maintenance is also a factor.

Wind turbines are a friction-based source (the wind spins a turbine to generate electricity). This means there are moving parts. Moving parts need regular maintenance. Failure to provide maintenance not only reduces the effectiveness of the turbine, but also can create noise pollution. So, you’ll need to spend an additional £100 to £200 every couple of years on your turbine maintenance.

Solar panels, on the other hand, are not friction-based. They have no moving parts. As a result, they’re low maintenance.  

Overall, then, solar comes out on top from a price perspective.

Solar 1 – 0 Wind

Home wind turbine vs solar panels: practicality

Take a typical home, built up in the suburbs surrounded by other buildings. Solar panels on the roof require very little consideration to the landscape. This is because the roof of your home is already the ideal placement for solar panels, providing uninterrupted sunlight. (Especially if you have a south-facing roof!)

Compare this to home wind turbines. Unless you get a small roof-mounted system – not capable of generating much power – your turbine will usually need to be placed away from homes. This is far from the ideal condition for home wind turbines, which are most optimal in wide open spaces. (Due to higher wind speeds.)

So, unless you have a rural property with lots of land, home wind turbines are likely not a practical choice.

Solar 2 – 0 Wind

Home wind turbine vs solar panels: effectiveness

When will you get power? The ability for solar to generate electricity is determined by how much sunlight your panels can absorb from the sun. That’s why you see them on roofs, where they get more sun. This doesn’t change dependent on building height, making their average electricity generation far more consistent. Plus, even when it’s cloudy out, a solar array still receives some energy.

This comparative reliability is the opposite of wind energy. Wind energy is dependent on wind speed. No wind, no energy. The shorter the turbine, the slower the wind speed due to obstacles like buildings, trees, and hills. (Which, incidentally, is why wind farms tend to be huge.)

Solar 3 – 0 Wind

Home wind turbine vs solar panels

So, home wind turbine vs solar panels: which is better? Ultimately, both solar and wind have their own unique pros and cons. If you’ve got a large rural plot of land and money to spend on a sizeable turbine system, wind is an excellent way to generate electricity and empower your energy independence.

However, the fact remains that wind turbines are impractical for most homeowners. So, if you live in a more traditional suburban property, solar is likely your best bet for clean renewable energy.

And don’t forget – no renewable energy source is complete without battery storage. Only with a storage battery can you harness that intermittent renewable energy from the wind and sun and make use of it later.

To maximise the rewards of renewable power with energy storage, start your GivEnergy journey today.

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