I just published this detailed post on solar pv vs. wind turbines for installations of the same cost:



I'm starting to come to the conclusion that except for a few spots in the U.S. (mostly in AK, HI, or on top of mountains) residential wind will always lose to solar PV assuming optimal locations for both (i.e. no shading on solar panels, no obstructions blocking wind) and the same capital outlay at the onset.  


I'm going to work on another blog post highlighting this fact, because it is rarely covered by most news media who don't even know the difference between a kW and a kWh, let alone know how to do the analysis themselves.  


What I'm looking for is someone who can tell me I am missing something in the analysis?  Any thoughts?

Tags: comparison, solar, vs., wind

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Replies to This Discussion

@Chris - I'm not sure it's entirely fair to simply "halve" the cost of a PV system, particularly one that small, simply based on nameplate capacity. You still need to install all of the BOS components, etc.


@Leo - I sincerely doubt that articulation alone can double PV production, especially that far north. Articulating optimization tends to be more effective at lower lattitudes. I suspect that a PV system in MN gains a significant percentage of production efficiency simply because it is COLD there. Systems loose a lot when the heat increases.


Great to see this discussion!

I agree Mark. My wild guess on doubling PV output has no place in a serious discussion like this. That's how misinformation gets its start.

Remember the PV system was tracking the sun daily and seasonally which for residential roof top installations would be difficult if not impractical. It appears that PV comes out better with tracking unless the residence has an above average wind site i.e. higher ground in west or southwest Minnesota.


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