Solar Panels vs Wind Turbines- Which is Better?

No two things are the same they might be similar but not the same and that is how it is with different sources of renewable energy as well be in solar panels or wind turbines.

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JAN 23 Solar Panels vs Wind Turbines- Which is Better?

There are quite a few ways to score renewable energy as multiple different sources contribute to providing us with renewable energy in different forms. But now all kinds of energy are equal and that is why we have a comparison lined up between solar panels vs wind turbines to find out which is better. So by comparing stuff like solar panels vs wind turbines efficiency and other related aspects we might be able to determine which of the two is better.

Solar Panels vs Wind Turbines-Which is Better?

JAN 23 Solar Panels vs Wind Turbines- Which is Better?Solar panels need sun and wind turbines need wind which is pretty basic stuff. So this tells us that for either to be of some use they need to be used in places where there is an abundance of sun or wind for these things to be useful or else there is no use in setting up these renewable sources of energy. However, the cost of setting up either, the output, the efficiency, their use, etc. differs from each other and it is factors like these that will play an important part in telling us which renewable energy source is better than the other and why.

How Many Solar Panels Equal a Wind Turbine?

So as established sun is required for solar panels to do their job and wind is needed for a wind turbine to do their job. However, at the end of the day, both energy sources share the common goal of reducing the use of fossil files and other harmful substances that may cause pollution. The energy provided by these panels and turbines is clean and green energy options that will help reduce carbon footprints which will in turn help make the planet healthier.

However, as mentioned above two things can be similar but not the same. So while both these energy sources are tasked with providing cleaner and greener fuel one of them has to perform better than the other which is obvious. And as it turns out wind turbines offer better output than solar panels. This can be proved by asking the question: how many solar panels equal a wind turbine? The answer to this question is 48,704. You would need that many solar panels to generate as much electricity per kWh as a wind turbine.

Also Read: Wind Turbine and Solar Panel Combination

What’s the Cost of a Single Solar Panel Versus a Single Wind Turbine? What is Solar Panels vs Wind Turbines Cost?

JAN 23 Solar Panels vs Wind Turbines- Which is Better?In this comparison of solar panels vs wind turbines, the first bragging rights are with wind turbines for they produce as much electricity as 48,704 solar panels per kWh. But that is not the end of the discussion as there are a few more parameters against which the two can be compared. If solar panels end up costing significantly cheaper, precisely if 48,704 solar panels could end up costing as much as one wind turbine then things can level out.

The one problem with setting up renewable energy sources is that they are too costly. This is a significant problem because it has kind of delayed or slowed down renewable energy from taking over the world as the majority of the world still relies on fossil fuels or other sources of energy. And so it makes sense to compare what’s the cost of a single solar panel versus a single wind turbine as it might be a significant factor in determining which one more people would opt to go for.

An average-size commercial wind turbine costs nearly $2.6-$4 million. Usually, their cost is $1.3 million per megawatt (MW) and most commercial turbines have a capacity of about 2-3 MW. However, offshore turbines can be as large as 12MW. As the turbine size increases, the cost also increases.

On average, solar panels cost about $16,000 or $3,500 to $35,000 depending on the model and type of solar panel. Also, the maintenance and operation costs of solar panels are lesser than that of wind turbines.

So wind turbines produce more electricity and solar panels are cheaper. It is nicely poised before we head to our next segment.

Also See: What are Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine Types?

Solar Panels vs Wind Turbines Construction-Which is Easier to Install?

In this solar panels vs wind turbines comparison next up we look at the construction aspect. By no means can either source of renewable energy be called to be cheap but then again one has got to be cheaper than the other. And if we talk about the two in the context that you need to get one for your home then not only the price but even the fitting or rather the construction aspect comes into the picture.

If we talk about solar panels, those can be set on the roof of your home or you can mount them on the ground. A home setup will most likely provide you with as much as 150 to 370 watts of solar power. Building a home solar panel measures 65 by 39 inches on average and has only 15 to 20% of efficiency. However, the process of making solar panels makes sure that using solar panels doesn’t end up being a carbon-neutral process but again if your full house can be powered by solar energy then its carbon footprint would still go down by 80%.

For wind turbines for a home, you can get propellor-like blades connected to a rotor and fix them to a tower that is bigger than the surrounding building. The build of a rotor for a  residential wind turbine can range from 3 to 23 feet in size while being 60 to 100 feet tall. When it comes to efficiency they extract as much as 50% energy that passes through them. Even though it is the cleanest source of obtaining green energy it is also not free from giving out carbon emissions.

However, when we compare solar panels vs wind turbine construction it is safe to say that the former is easier to install in residential areas or your home as compared to wind turbines and so they emerge as the better option in this segment thanks to their small size.

What is Solar Panels vs Wind Turbines Efficiency?

JAN 23 solar panels vs wind turbinesOn multiple occasions throughout this blog we have seen that when it comes to solar panels vs wind turbines in terms of efficiency the latter emerges as a better option by a country mile. It is not math that we have a calculation for but 1 wind turbine is equal to as many as 48,704 solar panels when you compare the kWh of electricity produced by them in the same period.

So that should level the tie again as the solar panels vs wind turbines efficiency comparison are won by the latter and quite convincingly.

Also Read: 2 Types of Vertical Axis Wind Turbine

What are Solar Panels vs Wind Turbines Output?

Let’s say you have a 290-watt solar panel and it gets as much as 5 hours of sunlight daily. This will help it produce as much as 1,450 watts or about 1.5 kWh per day. On the other hand, a residential wind turbine can produce anywhere between 400 watts to 20kWh per day. A 4.5-kilowatt turbine will give you almost 900 kWh of energy a month considering the wind speed in your area is at least 14 mph. So, solar panels vs wind turbines output have as huge a difference in their efficiency.

Also See: Basic Principle of Wind Energy Conversion

Solar Panels vs Wind Turbines for Homes-Which is Better?

JAN 23 Which is BetterWe have seen how many solar panels equal a wind turbine and so it should come as no surprise that quantity-wise you would need a lot more solar panels than you would need wind turbines. But again due to the size and build of both these energy sources having more than one wind turbine wouldn’t even be possible in most places. Also, price-wise wind turbines would be more suitable for a colony or a residential area as a whole whereas solar panels can be purchased for an individual property.

On an overall level solar panels vs wind turbines for homes is a comparison that can’t be made simply because they both have their benefits and downsides. One is more affordable, the other is more efficient. One is suited to an individual home while the other is guaranteed to produce more energy while giving out less carbon emission than the other. So depending on your locality, budget, usage, and other such factors, you can opt for the one more suitable for your needs or you could simply splurge a fortune and get both of them.

Also Read: Solar Energy VS Geothermal Energy: Which is Right For You?

What are Wind Power vs Solar Power Pros and Cons?

JAN 23 Pros and Cons?We have seen solar panels vs wind turbines efficiency as well as a lot of other factors that separate or help differentiate between the two. Now while the solar panels vs wind turbines comparison might not have much to separate the two the next obvious thing to look at is wind power vs solar power pros and cons which might be a way to get a sure shot answer as to which one should you opt for of the two.


1. Solar Panels

For residential purposes, the solar panel is more suitable than a wind turbine in more ways than one and so solar power automatically becomes the better source in that case. Also, solar power poses as the better option because the installation cost for its setup is much cheaper than for wind turbines. A solar panel has a life of 20+ years with little to no maintenance required making solar power the better source yet again.

2. Wind Turbines

Wind turbines can easily be designed to match the scale of the utility making wind power a better source. Unlike solar power, wind power can be generated at any time of the day. Also, the efficiency of wind power is more than solar power as seen in the solar panels vs wind turbines output section.

Also Read: 3 Amorphous Solar Panels Advantages and Disadvantages


1. Solar Panels

The most obvious con of solar power is that it can only be collected during the day which also means the sun is required to be at the top of its game so that it is of use to you. Solar power collection might not be ideal for all homes and also they have less efficiency than wind power.

2. Wind Turbines

As seen in the solar panels versus wind turbines construction section wind turbine is not suitable for installation in residential areas and so that is one con to go with it. We saw solar panels and wind turbines cost and the difference was huge and that is also down to the fact that the latter needs more maintenance than the former. In what’s the cost of a single solar panel versus a single wind turbine section we saw how the latter also has a higher upfront cost than the former which again makes it less desirable.

So that concludes wind power vs solar power pros and cons as well and it didn’t tell us anything that we didn’t know from the whole of the article that came before it.

Parameters Solar Panel Wind Turbine
Cost Costs nearly $2.6-$4 million About $16,000 or $3,500 to $35,000 depending on the model and type.
Efficiency 50% 15 to 20%
Pros Less maintenance cost and longer life More efficient and less carbon emission
Cons Low efficiency Not suitable for residential use

Also See: 3 Mono PERC Solar Panel Advantages and Disadvantages

So, Which is Better Solar Panels vs Wind Turbines?

So with this, the comparison between solar panels and wind turbines comes to an end with no clear winner. When we started this blog by looking at how many solar panels equal a wind turbine we thought we might be able to make a clear and strong case for the latter being better but as the blog went on and we saw what’s the cost of a single solar panel versus a single wind turbine, solar panels vs wind turbines cost, solar panels vs wind turbines construction, solar panels vs wind turbines efficiency, solar panels vs wind turbines output, solar panels vs wind turbines for homes, wind power vs solar power pros and cons comparison we found out that both of them had their strong points and downsides with neither being able to claim that it was much better than the other.

And so the obvious solution here is to find out the one that fits your purpose better and if you can’t do that then simply get both or neither.

Recommended: How Much Do Solar Panels Help the Environment?

Olivia is committed to green energy and works to help ensure our planet's long-term habitability. She takes part in environmental conservation by recycling and avoiding single-use plastic.

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