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Solar and Wind – Competition and Cooperation between the these Dominant Renewable Energy Sources

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Solar and Wind Energy are the two most widely used forms of Renewable Energy amongst others like Geothermal,Tidal,Biomass etc.While Hydro and Nuclear Energy are also considered by some to be Alternative forms of Energy,most governments do not count these two in their renewable targets.Wind Energy has been the dominant amongst the 2 in the last 2 decades as falling prices of Wind Power has made it more widely used with growth rates of almost 25% in the last decade.However the rapidly declining costs of Solar Energy has made it the faster growing of the two with 50% annual growth being seen in the last decade.Solar Energy also has a much larger potential than any other form of Energy.However its higher costs have inhibited its growth till now,however the entry of low cost Asian producers and fast technology innovation has already brought solar power on parity with fossil fuels in some places like Italy,Turkey,Hawai etc.

Solar and Wind Energy Cooperation

Solar and Wind Energy suffer from their intermittent nature that is they don’t generate electricity 24 hours a day like Coal,Nuclear,Gas.This disadvantage has made the penetration of Solar and Wind Power more difficult.Though DOE has said that Solar and Wind can easily grow for a long time without causing a problem to the Power Grid,the problem remains.Solar and Wind Energy can help each other out.Note Solar Energy is mainly prouduced during sunlight hours while Wind Energy is produced during the night when winds blow strongly.This helps them complment each other.A combined Solar and Wind Power Plant could produce Energy for most hours of the day compared to a standalone Wind or a Standalone Solar Power Plant.

Solar and Wind Energy Competition

Solar Energy has a load factor of around 20% while Wind Energy has around 20-40% which is much lower than that of Coal at around 80-90%.Solar Energy installations in 2010 were around 18 Gw compared to around 40 GW for Wind Energy.Note Solar Energy and Wind Power received almost the same amount of investment dollars in 2010 for the first time.Wind Energy has always received more investment than Solar.Solar Energy is still on a fast growing trend while Wind Energy has saturated at this level.Most Western countries are showing declining installations of Wind Energy while Solar keeps growing at a rapid pace.Note Solar Energy has around 1/5th the capacity of Wind Power globally.

There is a lot more information about wind and solar power competition for investment dollars and also how these energy sources can complement each other.You can read them in the following articles on greenworldinvestor

Greenworld articles that provide you more information

  1. Disadvantages of Solar Power – Overpowered by the Pros of Solar Energy
  2. Chinese capture 7 of the Top 15 Positions in rankings of Wind Turbine Manufacturers
  3. Will USA,India and China Learn from Japanese Tsunami Nuclear Disaster and promote Solar and Wind
  4. Disadvantages of Wind Power – A Rebuttal as the Selfish Delay Wind Farms to Death
  5. Advantages of Solar Energy – Declining Cost the Biggest One
  6. Pros and Cons of Wind Power,Turbines and Farms – The Advantages outweighs the Disadvantages
  7. Largest Photovoltaic Solar Farms – Are they Advantageous over Distributed Rooftop Solar and Why Utilities Love Them
  8. Is Geothermal Energy Dying a slow painful death?
  9. Decreasing Renewable Energy Prices should continue to boost Green Growth as Peak Oil Nears

Abhishek Shah

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