The increasing depletion of fossil fuel reserves around the world is forcing many Governments and individuals consider alternative means to generate power. Apart from being a limited energy resource, continuous burning of fossil fuels leads to extensive environmental pollution. This results in global warming and climate change. Many parts of the world are experiencing rapid changes in their climatic conditions as result of global warming. This has increased the popularity of hybrid renewable energy systems as an alternative source of generating clean electric power.
Hybrid renewable energy systems are a boon for providing electricity in remote or inaccessible rural areas. These systems operate either as stand-alone power systems or as off-grid hybrid energy systems. Rapid technological advances in renewable energy systems coupled with upward spiral in prices of fossil fuels has generated a lot interest in such systems.
Of all the off-grid hybrid energy systems, the most widely used forms is the wind solar hybrid energy system. Sunlight is the driving force behind solar panels and thermal generators but is not available throughout the day. Similarly, wind generators depend upon the velocity of the wind to generate sufficient electricity. This may not be consistent throughout the day. However, wind solar hybrid systems combine the advantages of both solar and wind power to generate a more sustainable source of power.
The main benefits a wind solar hybrid system as off-grid hybrid energy generating source are:
- Reliable Source of Power
As explained in the above paragraphs, wind generators are dependent upon the wind velocity to produce power. Similarly, sunlight is essence to operate solar panels and thermal generators. Both these renewable energy systems are dependent upon the climate of a particular place. It is not possible to predict accurately the quantum for energy generated by these systems. On other hand, wind solar hybrid system is a more feasible way to generate power. During cloudy weather, there is enough wind velocity to operate a wind generator while sunlight is can to operate a solar panel and generator when it is not.
- Reduction in infrastructure for storing excess power
A large number electric batteries are used to store the excess power generated be a wind turbine or a solar panel and thermal generator. This does not make these renewable energy sources too dependent upon the climate. However, these batteries are extremely expensive which increases the cost of the power generated. On the other hand, a wind solar hybrid system is does not require as many of batteries to store the same quantity of excess power generated.
- Great for inaccessible and remote areas
Both wind generators and solar power installations can be set in any part of the world. This is regardless of the availability of government infrastructure. Such stand-alone or off-grid hybrid energy systems can generate electric power in even the remotest corners of the world. This is blessing for people living in such areas.
The ever-increasing prices of fossil fuel coupled with the depleting quantities of such resources, has been Hybrid renewable energy systems extremely popular. In the future, such energy systems will be used to generate clean electricity around the clock.