Solar And Wind Energy In The United Kingdom

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Renewable energy is a better, safer option for the future of the world. In the UK, people are debating whether wind energy is better than solar energy or if solar energy is better than wind energy, this goes to show that people are looking for a solution to end the use of fossil fuels and save the environment. Looking at the weather in the UK, it is a better option to focus on wind energy rather than solar energy, simply because it is almost always cloudy and/or raining. This essay will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of both wind and solar energy, compare them to each other, and explain which option is better and why.

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‘First, there is the power of the wind, constantly exerted over the globe… Here is an almost incalculable power at our disposal, yet how trifling the use we make of it. ‘ (Thoreau, 1843). Wind energy converts wind into electricity, and is a better option than fossil fuels. Wind energy is used in windy and spacious land such as coastal areas, hills, and open plains. Some wind turbines are placed offshore if possible. The cost is considered low and isn’t nearly as expensive as other energy types. Wind energy also has its disadvantages; such as the noise it makes and the risk it has on wildlife.

Solar energy is less threatening to wildlife than any other energy. It could be used to reduce the cost of electricity bills; it is also diverse in the sense that it can generate electricity and/or heat. Solar energy also has some drawbacks, one of which is that its installation costs are high. Another one would be that whenever it is cloudy or night time, energy will not be provided, therefore, energy has to be stored to be available during those times. This then leads to another obstacle which is that solar energy is expensive to store. It is also season dependant; this means that at times there is more energy being provided than at other times.

Comparing wind and solar energy isn’t a simple task, it takes time, effort and resources to reach a final decision, but at the end, whatever the choice will be, it will benefit the Earth and make it a greener place. Wind energy is a clear winner in many aspects over solar energy. Wind turbines are less expensive to install. This means that multiple wind energy plants could be built with the same budget of a single solar energy plant, but this comes at the cost of paying twice the amount of money per kilowatt. Wind in the UK is more abundant than sunlight, therefore it is a better option as it gets cloudy and rainy often, which makes less sunlight reach solar panels. Some wind turbines could also be used offshore, which isn’t a possibility with solar energy plants. Obviously wind energy isn’t perfect, it also has its drawbacks. Yet this doesn’t make it a bad choice as its benefits outweigh its drawbacks.

In conclusion, both wind and solar energy have their benefits and drawback, but wind energy seems to be the superior choice for the UK than solar energy is. This is proven by the abundance of wind and the scarcity of sunlight. It is also proven by how there are more options for where to build wind turbines than there are for solar energy plants; this is due to the amount of space they take up.

Reference List:

  1. Ecotricity. co. uk. (2019). What is wind energy? [online] Available at: https://www. ecotricity. co. uk/our-green-energy/our-green-electricity/from-the-wind/what-is-wind-energy.
  2. Goodall, C. (2014). Carbon Commentary. [online] Carbon Commentary. Available at: https://www. carboncommentary. com/blog/2014/09/08/greater-wind-speed-variability-adds-to-the-problems-of-accommodating-renewables-on-the-grid.
  3. Weather-and-climate. com. (2010). Average monthly hours of sunshine in Manchester (Greater Manchester), United Kingdom. [online] Available at: https://weather-and-climate. com/average-monthly-hours-Sunshine,Manchester,United-Kingdom.
  4. Aaron (2019). Solar vs. Wind Power Comparison | Which One Is Better for Your Home? – Eco Power Up. [online] Eco Power Up. Available at: https://www. ecopowerup. com/knowledge/solar-vs-wind/
  5. Greenmatch. co. uk. (2019). Advantages & Disadvantages of Solar Energy (2019) | GreenMatch. [online] Available at: https://www. greenmatch. co. uk/blog/2014/08/5-advantages-and-5-disadvantages-of-solar-energy.
  6. Reality Check team (2018). Reality Check: Which form of renewable energy is cheapest? BBC News. [online] 26 Oct. Available at: https://www. bbc. co. uk/news/business-45881551#targetText=The%20total%20electricity%20generation%20in,2016%2C%20according%20to%20official%20figures. &targetText=Over%20the%20last%20year%2C%20generation,47. 7TWh%20to%2061. 5TWh.
31 October 2020

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