How Many Solar Panels Equal a Wind Turbine? [Comparing Energy Output]

You might have seen those wind turbines spinning away in the distance and wondered how many solar panels it would take to equal that amount of power.

We did the math for you and found out that it would take quite a few more solar panels than you might think. Keep reading to find out exactly how many and to see an infographic comparing the two renewable resources.

What Are Solar Panels and Wind Turbines?

Solar panels and wind turbines are two very different types of energy-generation systems.

Solar panels convert sunlight into electrical energy, while wind turbines use the power of the wind to turn rotors and generate electricity.

Solar panels are a more popular choice for generating renewable energy, as they are less expensive to install and don’t require a lot of space.

However, wind turbines do have some benefits that solar panels don’t, such as the ability to generate energy even when it’s cloudy or dark outside.

The Pros & Cons of Solar Panels vs Wind Turbines

When it comes to renewable energy sources, there are a lot of options to choose from. And while solar panels and wind turbines are both popular choices, they each have their own pros and cons.

Here’s a look at some of the key differences between solar panels and wind turbines:

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Solar Panels:

Pros: Solar panels are a reliable and affordable way to generate renewable energy. They’re also relatively easy to install and can be used in a variety of settings.

Cons: Solar panels do not generate energy at night and their energy production can be affected by the weather, which can impact their ability to generate energy.

Wind Turbines:

Pros: Wind turbines are great for large-scale energy production, as they utilize little energy, and generate more energy than they consume. Moreover, they have a low carbon footprint.

Cons: Wind turbines can be affected by the weather, which can impact their ability to generate energy. They also take up a fair amount of space, which can be an issue for smaller homes or businesses.

How Much Energy Do Solar Panels and Wind Turbines Generate?

When it comes to renewable energy, there’s a lot of debate about which source is more efficient: solar panels or wind turbines? Let’s take a closer look at the numbers to find out.

First, let’s look at solar panels. A single panel can produce between 250 and 400 watts of power, depending on the size and quality of the panel.

Multiply that by the number of panels you have, and you’ll get your total wattage.

Now let’s look at wind turbines. The average turbine has a capacity of 2 megawatts, which means it can generate up to 6 million watts of power annually.

So, to generate the same amount of electricity as wind turbines, how many solar panels would you need?

How Many Solar Panels Does It Take to Equal a Wind Turbine?

It really depends on the size of the turbine and the solar panels. Generally speaking, you will need at least 10 solar panels to generate the same amount of energy that a single wind turbine can generate.

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When it comes to solar panels, it’s important to consider how much electricity they can produce per square foot.

A single 2-foot by 2-foot panel can usually produce about one kilowatt (kW) of energy each day. That’s about the same amount of energy that a small wind turbine can generate in an hour.

A small wind turbine can produce up to 10kW per day. So, if you had 10 solar panels, you would get 10 kW per day, which is equivalent to the energy from a small wind turbine.

However, if you had a larger wind turbine, such as one with a 30-foot diameter rotor and tower height, you would need several hundred solar panels to equal its energy output each day.

The more powerful the wind turbine is, the more solar panels you would need to create an adequate amount of electricity.

Solar Panels vs Wind Turbines: Which Is More Cost-Effective?

So, how do solar panels and wind turbines compare in terms of cost-effectiveness? When it comes to upfront costs, solar panels are the clear winner.

Installing a wind turbine will require a much larger upfront investment than solar panel installation; furthermore, it can be difficult to secure the financing you need for a turbine.

However, it’s important to factor in the long-term costs associated with each type of energy source. Typically, wind turbines offer more savings over time since they can generate more electricity than solar panels.

Also, keep in mind that you will have to factor in maintenance costs for each type of energy source as well.

In short, if you’re looking for an energy-efficient solution that will offer long-term savings for your home, a wind turbine is probably your best bet.

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However, if you’re on a tight budget and only looking for short-term savings then solar panels may be the more cost-effective option.

Different Applications for Solar Panel and Wind Turbine Energy

Solar panels and wind turbines can be used to create energy for different applications.

Solar panels are often installed on the roofs of homes to collect sunlight and convert it into electricity. These systems are usually connected to the utility grid, with excess energy being sent back in what is known as net metering.

Wind turbines, on the other hand, are installed in more open spaces and have giant blades that rotate in the wind, which is then converted into electricity.

For home applications, a small solar panel system may be sufficient to meet your needs. But if you need more power, then a wind turbine may be your best option as they generate more electricity than solar panels.

They are also better suited for larger projects such as powering an entire community or farmstead. On the other hand, solar panels can be used for off-grid applications where no utility grid connection is available.


At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you’re trying to achieve with your renewable energy. If you’re looking to reduce your environmental impact, solar panels are the way to go.

If you’re looking to generate more energy than you need and sell it back to the grid, wind turbines are the way to go.

So, how many solar panels does it take to equal a wind turbine? It really depends on your needs and what you’re trying to accomplish.



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