When it comes to renewable energy, countries are playing to their strengths. While the UK doesn’t have that many sunny days, it experiences extraordinary winds to power turbines. And we all know Australia gets a lot of sun – perfect for charging solar arrays.
Both wind and solar power are contributing a lot to sustainable energy in different areas. But which seems to be preferred? We’ll take you through how the popularity of wind and solar power compares in different countries.
Wind Power Around the World
Onshore and offshore wind farms across the globe host over 200,000 operational wind turbines. That almost the population of Hobart. And these farms are producing a lot of energy. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the wind-power bigshots are:
- China – 237 TWh
- USA – 227 TWh
- Germany – 78.9 TWh.
These three countries account for 65% of the world’s wind power, with new farms popping up every year. And while it didn’t make the ‘big 3’, the UK is making headlines with its windy endeavours. From wind turbines alone, Scotland recently produced enough energy for its yearly consumption – in just six months.
Solar Power on the Rise
With the cost of solar energy decreasing, its popularity is rising. In 2007, only 6.8 TWh of solar power was generated. Ten years later in 2017, the world produced 442.6 TWh. That’s an increase of over 6,400% – and it isn’t slowing down any time soon.
According to the EIA, the solar-power bigshots:
- China – 67.8 TWh
- USA – 50.9 TWh
- Germany – 50.3 TWh.
Although solar power refers to both the photovoltaic system (PV) (like your standard rooftop panels) and the concentrated solar power system (where lenses concentrate sunlight to produce heat that powers turbines), the PV system is much more widely used.
Teaming Up: Solar and Wind Power
When it comes to wind and solar, wind power is currently producing more – due to its generally lower costs. But creating a future that focuses on one form of renewable energy won’t work. Although playing to strengths is good, diversity is vital – as both wind and solar depend on something that’s inconsistent. Solar excels in during summers, when wind energy is typically lower. Vice versa, winds tend to be more consistent in winter when more clouds cover solar panels. Incorporating a wide portfolio of renewable energy solutions is something almost every country is taking on.
Want to harness your own solar energy? You can with Pedleys. Get in touch with our friendly Brisbane solar panel installers or call us on 1800 270 963 for an obligation-free quote today.