Link Solar and Wind Power to Reduce Electricity Demands
Few developers are exploring ways to combine solar and wind power for greater efficiency and effectiveness. Hybrid solar-wind projects can replace fossil fuels much more efficiently than either technology used alone. Read on to learn more. This article will discuss the pros and cons of using each alternative energy source. And you can make the best choice for your needs by comparing the costs and location of each option. Hopefully you will save money in the long run!
Renewable energy sources
There are many benefits to renewable energy. For starters, solar and wind energy do not require any water to produce electricity. Furthermore, they have no competition with our water resources. By contrast, fossil fuels have an extensive impact on water supplies. Natural gas drilling and coal mining both pollute water supplies and both require cooling systems. And in many places, such energy is not available at all. But that does not mean it is unusable.
When it comes to cost-effectiveness, renewable energy is a good choice for most applications. Cost-benefit analysis is generally accepted as a good method for assessing competing energy sources. By comparing the costs and benefits of renewable sources, energy decision-makers can improve their own costs and performance. The economics of renewable energy are also a great consideration. This alternative energy source is relatively cheap to build, operate, and produce, and requires no maintenance.
In 2021, wind turbine power is expected to account for 138 gigawatts, the largest share of renewable power in the U.S. The growth rate for offshore wind energy was especially large last year. Several mega-contracts were signed for installations in the waters off New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland. On the other hand, hydroelectric power is expected to account for only 29% of renewable output in 2021. Globally, the use of renewable energy is increasing - a record high in the last decade.
Investment tax credits are another attractive benefit of renewable energy. Once the equipment is installed, ratepayers can claim an investment tax credit, which reduces installation costs and shortens the payback period. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 has extended the investment tax credit by three years and deferring it by two years to 2020. It will then phase down to 10 percent by 2024. In addition, many states offer additional incentives.
Renewable resources vary in price. Costs will depend on the quality of the resource, the location of existing infrastructure, and the developer's technology manufacturing base. In addition, the cost of electricity will depend on the amount of energy input and the effective capacity of the generation facility. For geothermal resources, costs depend on the equipment needed to produce it. Geothermal plants are also highly dispatchable. The cost of electricity delivered by geothermal energy will be higher than those from other renewable sources.
Linking solar and wind power to generate electricity is an ideal way to lower costs of energy production. Costs have decreased significantly in recent years, making renewable energy a viable alternative to fossil fuels. In 2010, the cumulative installed capacity of solar PV and wind power worldwide reached 42 GW, whereas the same number of GW was generated by coal plants. The costs of fossil fuels are typically high, but can fluctuate depending on political factors.
Integration costs differ across scenarios and are affected by the intermittency of wind and solar power. For example, in a grid with twenty percent wind and solar generation, the total integration cost for both technologies was EUR37/MWh in 2012. The costs included in the estimates are balancing, transmission, backup and residual generation, and curtailment. Since the costs of intermittency are highly variable, it is difficult to know when a plant should generate electricity.
However, the costs of new-build solar and wind power projects have fallen dramatically in recent years. BloombergNEF reports that cost for utility-scale solar PV and onshore wind in the United States has decreased by 4% in the last year. Those costs are now less than 30 cents/MWh, which means that linking solar and wind power projects will be a cost-effective option for many households. In the future, the costs of solar and wind power will be competitive with fossil fuel power plants.
The cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) generators in the U.S. is about $28/MWh in comparison to coal-fired power plants in the same country. But with the falling prices of solar panels, this gap between solar and wind power generators is shrinking rapidly. Today, the cost of building new solar projects is comparable to coal-fired power plants, which operate on an average cost of $35/MWh. As China opens up the power sector, these costs are likely to become more important.
In the long run, link solar and wind power projects have higher value than standalone PV projects. This is because the cost of manufacturing solar PV modules is more expensive than the cost of solar panel installation. With battery storage, hybrid solar plants have higher value. The value of hybrid solar plants can increase by 20 percent. The costs of linking solar and wind power plants can also be lower compared to their stand-alone counterparts.
The Efficiency of Linking Wind and Sun Power to Reduce Electricity Demands
The daily cycles of wind and solar resources are complementary. In temperate/tropical countries, wind power is usually higher at night and seldom drops below zero. In contrast, solar power peaks in the middle of the day and drops sharply at dusk. This suggests that these two resources are complementary in most countries. Furthermore, the interannual variability of wind and solar is consistently larger than that of solar. As a result, the efficiency of linking these two resources is higher than that of a standalone solar-wind resource.
Both solar power and wind power can generate electricity on overcast days, although their efficiency varies. For instance, solar power is more effective on sunny days, whereas wind turbines need specific conditions to generate electricity. And since solar power is a renewable energy resource, it has more socio-economic and individual benefits. But wind and solar power are equally beneficial to local economies. So, how do they compare? Let's compare these two renewable energy resources to see which one can best benefit your household's environment.
Although solar energy is ubiquitous, wind power is not. The geography of your area matters more. But solar panels can be placed almost anywhere, while wind turbines need to be high and above obstacles. The average cost of a 5 kW solar and wind power system is $13,000 after tax credits. So, you can make use of the available technologies and generate electricity without incurring a huge investment. You can also install solar microturbines on your rooftop or a pool or RV.
The two sources of energy are incredibly complementary. Together, solar panels and wind power can generate electricity equivalent to about 5 percent of the nation's energy demand. In fact, according to a U.S. Department of Energy report, wind power is now used to generate electricity in 39 states, proving that home wind power systems can provide nearly five percent of the country's electricity needs. This makes the concept of wind power an excellent option for greening your electricity footprint.
Aegean Energy is a partner in Maps to Megawatts, a powerful solution that supports development, on-site analysis, site control, and reporting. The solution was recently enhanced to provide deep location analytics, allowing streamlined field data collection and analysis. This solution allows energy companies to visualize their project footprint and calculate total energy production and cost. For more information, visit the Maps to Megawatts website.