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Wind and Solar Energy Power

            Wind power and solar power play an important part in our country's plan to eliminate global warming and to free ourselves from using fossil fuels. I believe wind power and solar power need to be used together to be beneficial to the home energy consumer. Wind power is energy created by the use of windmills. The energy from the wind is harnessed when the wind moves the blades of the turbine and energy transfers through a central hub to the generator (Wind Energy, n.d.). It is currently the most economically competitive form of renewable energy and is growing rapidly. "In 2011 alone, 3,464 turbines went up across the United States, and today, American wind generates enough electricity to power more than 11 million homes, creates steady income for investors and landowners, and provides manufacturing, construction and operation jobs for at least 75,000 Americans" (Wind Energy, n.d.). Solar power is energy created by harnessing the energy from the sun's rays by using photovoltaic panels (solar panels). Solar power is a little more difficult to understand. The sun's rays hit the solar panel and are absorbed by a sheet of glass and a semiconductor that is beneath the glass (Solar-IER, 2014). When the sunlight hits the semiconductor beneath the glass, electrons are knocked loose (Solar-IER, 2014). The semiconductor is positively charged on one side and negatively charged on the other which forces the loose electrons to go in one direction and this creates an electric current (Solar-IER, 2014). The current is captured by contacts and this creates and electrical circuit (Solar-IER, 2014). The amount of solar energy being used in the United States is increasing, and currently accounts for 0.2% of the electricity generated (IER, 2014). Using both energies simultaneously would be beneficial. On the days that there isn't much wind available, you could be using your solar panels. The solar energy would be stored for the days that the weather is not sunny.

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