The majority of surveyed Americans prefer clean renewable energy options. But going green isn’t always easy.
It can be difficult to choose sustainable energy sources, if they’re even available at all.
For some Americans, solar power and hydropower energy are two possible choices, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Read on to learn about these clean energy sources and which might be better for your home.
What Is Solar Power?
Solar power is becoming more common than in the past, with solar panels popping up on roofs all over the country.
Solar power uses panels to capture solar energy, converting it into electricity in the home. It can also be used to create thermal energy, which can heat up water, among other uses.
Pros and Cons of Solar Power
Solar power for home is a good option, as long as you live somewhere with sunshine. Solar panels are accessible for most and can be placed on the roof or in a yard next to the home.
Many are intimidated by the high upfront costs of solar panel installation. But you can lower solar panel cost with incentives, tax deductions, and payment plans. And after an initial investment in installation, solar panels can help you slash utility costs, eventually paying for themselves and then some.
What Is Hydropower Energy?
Hydropower energy is created when flowing water turns large wheels, creating electricity that can power nearby homes. These wheels are often built into large-scale dams, though smaller wheels may also work to power one or two buildings.
Hydropower energy has been around since the late 1800s, and it continues to be a viable energy source for those located near flowing water.
Pros and Cons of Hydropower
Hydropower is an eco-friendly alternative to fossil fuels, though building dams and wheels in waterways could damage natural habitats.
And one of the biggest disadvantages of hydropower is that it’s limited to areas where there’s a consistent and strong flow of water. But as long as this water is available, hydropower may be more reliable than solar power, which is limited to only daytime sunshine.
One of the best advantages of hydropower is that it is the cheapest sustainable energy option, though upfront costs of installation can be high.
It’s important to note that installation is often done by the local city or state, not by individual homeowners. Unlike solar power, which relies on individual solar panels, most water wheel generators belong to the community. Installing your own may only be an option if you live directly on the water and if you’ve received permission from the city.
Which Is Better?
Between solar power and hydropower, which is actually a better source of sustainable energy?
Both have pros and cons, and many factors depend largely on where you’re located. For some, solar power is the clear choice, but for those already living on a flowing river, hydropower may seem like the natural fit.
Choosing Clean Energy for Your Home
Whether you choose hydropower energy or solar energy, either option is a respectable choice that can help save the planet—and your wallet in the future.
For more ways to improve and customize your home, check out our other home and garden articles!
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