Solar-wind hybrid systems combine two of the fastest growing renewable energy technologies. Such a concept has emerged due to the complementary nature of solar and wind.
Solar, due to its dependence on sunlight can produce power only during the day, probably from 8 am – 6 pm. Wind, on the other hand, starts blowing during late evenings and reaches its peak during the nights. Due to this inherent nature of wind and solar, power production can be leveled out all throughout the day with a solar-wind hybrid. This means the reliability of the grid is improved by ensuring peak power requirements are met.
Another advantage is that since both wind turbines and solar panels are put up in the same land, there can be significant savings on cost of land. Moreover, sharing the same grid connection for a combined solar-wind system can increase the capacity, which in turn improves the cost economics.
Major Indian wind companies like Gamesa, Inox wind and Suzlon are shifting part of their focus to solar-wind hybrid due to the range of benefits they bring with it. The power procured from solar-wind hybrids can get even cheaper than isolated solar or wind power plants.
Energy-intensive factories and industries with high electricity bills should look out for solar-wind hybrid solutions and explore the prospects of developing such projects for securing their power consumption.