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Which Energy Source Is More Efficient and Cheaper To Maintain: Solar Panels or Windmills?

Updated on February 13, 2009

The question of price per energy unit depends highly upon where you live. Some countries have significant state funding for windmills based upon their own productions of these to avoid imports of foreign windmills and/or solar panels.

However, one general rule of thumb is that the sun is EVERYWHERE. Even on grey days you can get a minimum amount of electricity from the rays of the sun. Even in highly clouded areas enough energy is produced to heat your water and some heating of your house. When combined with eart energy you have a failsafe energy solution that doesn't pollute, yet delivers everything you need.

In windy conditions, windmills are excellent. You could say that one big advantage is that you can get electricity from windmills even though it's blowing in the middle of the night. Solar panels are zero-energy during the night.

However, one very important, yet expensive, element in any machine that turns around with speeds as you see in windmills is MAINTENANCE. It's a terribly expensive thing to keep windmills up-to-date whereas solar panels are virtually maintenance free.

What Will The Future Bring?

There is no doubt that alternative energy IS the right way to proceed. Partially because oil is a political type of energy - both subject to pressures from dictatorships, but also polluting far more than either solar, wind or earth energy. As conditions improve concerning initial investments, there is no doubt that this will be the type of energy we SHOULD use to stay healthy on this planet.

Seize the day. :-)


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    • profile image

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    • profile image

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    • h_blunck profile image

      Henrik V Blunck 8 years ago from Kalundborg - Denmark

      Both sources produce a lot of energy - depending on models and age of production. To my knowledge, Danish Vestas are among the leading, and can easily heat a home and supply warm water combined with household power on wind energy.

      Solar panels have similar wattage. Far more than both computers and coffee machines.

      But it's true that living in a valley would be exceptionally bad for wind power, just as living at the poles is poor during the night time of six months. ;-)

      But thanks for your feedback.

    • Newyork204 profile image

      Wesley Barras 8 years ago from Anchorage, AK

      I would say it depends on where you live and which energy source is more readily available.

      For instance if a person lived in Arizona, Hawaii, or anyplace where there is a lot of sun I would go with solar panels.

      If you live in a windy place I would go with windmills.

      I have found that wind power does produce more heat than solar does. I have both and even when it is hot and sunny I generate enough power to run my coffee machine. Wind power produces enough to at least run my computer.

    • h_blunck profile image

      Henrik V Blunck 8 years ago from Kalundborg - Denmark

      I would say all potential investment benefits depend on the eye of the beholder. I would say becoming self-providing is important, but here in Denmark such would be taxed so that should also be taken into account.

      Do what you FEEL is best. That gut feeling is often right. :-)

      Glad I could help. :-)

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks

      H_blunck, thanks for answering my question. It looks as if the answer is leaning in the direction of solar.

      However, the fact that you mentioned government subsidies troubles me. My government will not subsidize my initial investment, nor do I want it to. I am retired, and what money I have is a non-renewable resource. I have to make a wise decision. I won't get the money I spend on solar panels back. I can't go to work to make more money in case this investment doesn't work out.

      If I invest in solar panels now, using my own money, will I recoup my investment in the next ten years by becoming energy independent? Or is this something that is a good choice for people who have a big income from employment, so they can deduct it from their income taxes, and then reduce their electric bill, but not eliminate it?

      Thanks for your help.