Mankind has come a long way in innovation and creativity. We have virtually conquered land, sea, and air with our endless inventions. The more we figured out how to harness raw energy into useful power, the more contraptions we have conceptualized and built. When we discovered electricity, the number of inventions increased exponentially. Home appliances, mobile devices, computers, even airplanes and boats rely on electricity to function effectively. The challenge now is to find a continuous and uninterruptible source of power so that we can continue using our myriad of tools and devices that are otherwise useless without electricity. Two promising sources of energy can be tapped. The question here is which one is better: Wind energy or solar energy?
Wind energy obviously harnesses the power of the wind to generate electricity. Wind is something our planet Earth has an abundant supply. Just tune in to any news channel on cable TV and you’ll hear of typhoons, hurricanes, or tornadoes generating unimaginable wind power that can destroy houses in an instant. Raw wind, in its monstrous incarnation, can be very destructive. However, a less powerful wind can be very useful if channeled properly.
Many countries, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Spain, Germany, China, India, France, Italy, and Denmark have recognized the viability of wind energy as an alternative source of power. These countries have invested so much in research and development to figure out the best possible way to capture the raw power of the wind and translate it to a safe and useful form of energy.
The challenge with wind energy is to find a perfect place where the force of the wind is just right so as not to damage any installations for transforming wind into electricity. That place should also have constant supply of wind, not seasonal, all year round.
Solar energy is another promising alternative source of electricity. We have discovered years ago that the sun is not only good for giving life to plants but it is also a good source for generating electricity. Who would have imagined that the heat of the sun can also make things move?
Aside from being a reliable source of electricity, solar energy is also applied to a variety of ways, such as water heating, water treatment, and cooking. Any country, with an unimpeded access to the sun’s power, can setup a system for harnessing the sun’s heat and convert to electricity. Solar panels are now commercially available at a lower cost and almost anybody can setup a small solar-based power system.
The challenge with solar energy is that obviously the sun is not up 24 hours a day. We have more or less 12 hours in a day to capture as much solar energy as we can. We are also limited by the capacity of the batteries we use to store electricity.
So which one is better? Wind energy or solar energy? It really depends on your location and how dependent you are on electricity.