Battle of the renewable energy sources – which is the most efficient?

Posted on 05 April 2020

Battle of the renewable energy sources – which is the most efficient?

Switching to more efficient ways to harness energy has been a priority for not only the Australian government but for the entire world for some time now. Derived from the Earth’s natural resources, renewable energy assets are not finite or exhaustible, like oil and coal. Instead, energy is harnessed by capturing naturally generated power and turning it into electricity, heat or hot water.

At the moment, there are several types of clean energy sources widely used across the globe. However three in particular are currently being applied more regularly in Australia and have been deemed incredibly efficient for both home and business owners: Wind, hydro and solar – but is one better than another?

Which is more available and reliable?

Hydropower is the most advanced and mature renewable energy, providing electricity in more than 160 countries. However, it is not suitable in many locations because it often requires substantial modifications of a water resource to get started, i.e. a man-made dam. In colder climates, the potential of frozen pipes is more likely, which can cause problems for production.

Capturing radiant energy from the sun, solar power can be used anywhere and if equipped with the proper technology, solar energy is limitless. Australia has the highest solar radiation per square metre of any continent, making it one of the best energy sources in the country. It also requires minimum upkeep, depending on the type of system you choose to install.

Wind power isn’t the most reliable. Despite the proper installation of equipment, wind can be sporadic in some areas, forcing some to make use of battery banks or alternative power sources. Moving parts will eventually wear out as well, requiring regular routine maintenance.

How much does each source cost to install and upkeep?

For all three forms of energy, the initial cost is quite high, however, it depends on the circumstance. Solar panel installation can be expensive, but they boast a long lifespan and incredible benefits, such as tax cuts and reduced bill expenses. The initial upfront costs of hydropower can be extremely expensive and construction is required upon set up. Wind towers can also be expensive and may require heavy-duty machinery to erect before use.

What is their environmental impact?

All three forms of renewable energy carry more positive than negative effects on the environment. When it comes to environmental impact, solar panels and wind power both produce zero carbon emissions, however, studies have found that wind turbines can have a negative effect on birds and bats. Hydro does not pollute the air or water, but it can change the environment and natural habitats in the dam area.

Make the switch to renewable energy

Considering making the switch to renewable energy sources in your home or business? For homeowners, solar power in the form of solar panels is your best bet when considering alternative sources of power. It’s low-maintenance and doesn’t require the building of any structures. The cost of incorporating solar into your home is constantly dropping, making it a viable option for homeowners.

Contact Solar Power Direct and request a free quote for solar panel installation for your home or commercial property.

Solar Power Direct is a proud member of the Smart Energy Council, working towards a safe climate and a strong renewable economy.