Solar energy can be used for generating electricity, and for hot water heating and solar cooling. Solar energy is produced when the sun is shining during the day and is complementary to wind energy, which tends to reach its highest production at night.
While solar power is the dominant residential renewable energy source, wind power is another great option for homeowners looking to green their electricity footprint. According to a 2015 U.S. Department of Energy report, wind power provides nearly 5 percent of U.S. energy demand across 39 states. That’s a macro-level statistic, though. How about on the micro (family home) level? That’s where this guide comes in. Here you’ll find lots of helpful information on home wind power systems: what’s available, how it works, and how it stacks up against (and works with) solar.
But what about wind? Wind energy is created by the uneven heating of the Earth’s surface. Warm air expands, becomes less dense and rises into the atmosphere. Cooler air then rushes in to take the warmer air’s place. And that movement of air is wind. Viola. Wind is caused by the sun.