Friday, July 13, 2007

The Wind Power and Solar Power Combination

Wind power is much like solar power; it’s a renewable resource, it’s pollution free during use, it can be stored locally, etc. But that means it also has many of the same disadvantages that solar power has—it’s not always there, during construction it may require fossil fuels, etc. But wind power and solar power combined together could be extremely useful.

Usually when the sun is shining, it’s not very windy. When the sun isn’t shining, generally it is windy.

Wind Turbines in a StormThink about it. During storms when the sun is covered up (see picture), it is usually very windy. If wind power and solar power were united, energy could be produced almost continuously. One way this could be accomplished is by putting solar panels in the same area as wind turbines. Because of the massive size of wind turbines, they take up great swaths of land. The land in between the turbines should be used for agricultural purpose, some people have suggested. Instead, imagine putting solar panels in between them. The power produced would be enough to fuel many houses.

Wind power does have its disadvantages.

• Is it sunny or windy more often? Probably sunny.
• Some people find wind turbines “ugly”.
• The amount of wind can’t be accurately predicted.
• The wind isn’t constantly blowing.
• Wind turbines need some form of energy to be produced. Sometimes fossil fuels are used.

Overall, wind power combined with solar is promising. But once again, as said in 5 Reasons Solar Power Works, all alternative energy sources have to be combined with other energies to realistically power the world.

More Alternative Energy Series:

Why Corn Ethanol is Bad
The Temporary Solution: Coal
Nuclear Power: Energy of the Future or As Bad As Fossil Fuels
5 Reasons Solar Power Works
The Wind Power and Solar Power Combination
Another Look at Nuclear Power - Nuclear Waste
What's So Special About Hydropower and Hydroelectricity?
Top 5 Advantages of Geothermal Power


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