Homeowners seeking a more sustainable energy source are often faced with two viable options: wind and solar. Both have their benefits and disadvantages, though much of the decision comes down to where you live. Local government regulations, wind patterns, land elevation and more all play a role in deciding whether to go in on wind or solar energy.

Wind Energy

Wind turbines are often considered the best option for large-scale applications. They can be installed mostly anywhere, even far out at sea. Installation is prompt and modern turbines can be silent in operation, though smaller turbines can create noise. Still, although installation is technically possible anywhere, some locations do not have enough wind power to truly benefit.

Small turbines must be situated in areas with above-average wind patterns and require a smooth airflow. For residential homeowners seeking a realistic option, investing in wind energy can be a risky proposition if your area does not provide this. If you’re living near trees or a busy road, a wind turbine is not likely to be a good choice, especially considering that wind turbines need to be mounted very high.

If you live near the coast or in an open exposed area, however, wind energy could be your best option. You will need land, as roof-mounted turbine can cause turbulence and inefficient energy. Regardless, a site survey is essential to avoid investing in wind energy that will barely be used. This will measure wind speeds at various locations throughout the area and ensure optimal performance. There are a number of solar and wind power prediction systems available for this purpose.

Wind power can be a very efficient, clean form of energy, but only if you live near a coast or wide open spaces.

Solar Energy

Solar power is a frequent choice among suburban areas and cities, which lack the proper space and wind specifications to take full advantage of wind energy. Like large-scale wind power, solar power is silent in operation and even less conspicuous, with the ability to be roof-mounted without losing efficiency — as long as there’s nothing blocking the sun. If you live in an area with wind speeds less than 5 meters per second, you will undoubtedly find better value with solar power as opposed to wind power.

It’s also worth considering that installing wind turbines often requires local government approval, as they can disturb neighbors with appearance and noise. Solar power does not require nearly as much approval. Quick installation with minimal cable usage and maintenance make solar power a more hassle-free local addition.

Additionally, solar radiance is more predictable than wind patterns, so there’s a more steady energy output with solar energy. It’s another reason why residential areas in suburbs and cities will likely opt for solar energy in most cases.

The choice often comes down to where you live, specifically the area’s wind patterns and sunlight exposure. Once you decide on the best system for you, you can invest in energy you know is good for the environment and your wallet.