Wind and solar hybrid energy systems offer a unique way to offset a home's electrical bills or, in some cases, take a home off of the power grid completely. By utilizing both wind turbines and solar arrays to generate electricity, hybrid systems are able to overcome some of the disadvantages of using just one form of renewable energy (i.e., the system may be more able to reliably generate electricity). But that's not to say that hybrid wind and solar energy systems don't have some drawbacks of their own.
According to Clean Energy Authority, an online resource for people interested in renewable energy issues, hybrid wind and solar energy systems can cost a pretty penny -- particularly if the home is located far from existing power lines. Clean Energy Authority estimates the cost of running new power lines to a home as starting at around $15,000 per mile of power line. Connecting a hybrid system to the grid would only be necessary as a backup system or to input energy into the system, but Clean Energy Authority estimates the cost of installing even a small hybrid system could exceed well over $20,000.
Storing excess energy is one of the disadvantages of wind hybrid systems, according Clean Energy Authority. There are bound to be times in almost any location when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine. If your home relies on a hybrid system for electricity, this can be problematic -- especially if you have no way to store energy to use at these times. Connecting to an existing energy grid could be a solution to this, but, as mentioned before, can be expensive in areas that are far off the power grid. Battery packs may also be expensive and can generally only store enough energy for about three days.
Wind and energy hybrid systems aren't cheap and they're not simple either, according to Clean Energy Authority. Taking energy from two different systems, integrating that energy and using it to power a home is a complex process. Many separate parts have to function in tandem for the system to work reliably. Some systems may have two or more separate control panels overseeing each part of the system (i.e., the wind system or the solar system). Newer models may have combined controls. Maintenance on a system like this, and like it's installation, is likely to be costly.
For a hybrid solar and wind energy system to function properly and reliably both the turbines and solar arrays need to be sized such that they generate enough power for the home, according to Solar Power is the Future.com, a resource for fans of solar energy. Turbines and solar arrays can be real eyesores and, if you live near other homes, could offend neighbors. If the turbines and arrays aren't large enough to irritate other homeowners, they might not be able to provide steady, reliable electricity to the house. Also, turbines will generate some noise when the wind is blowing, which may annoy those nearby.
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