Today there is a lot of interest in living off the grid. Homesteaders with small budgets may discover that they are always conserving electricity and may fall short of their needs.
Someone with a larger budget would do well with a $25,000 system and may never need a generator.
Smaller systems most always require a back-up generator; which needs Fuel, oil and regular maintenance and repairs. Batteries also need maintenance and need to be replaced about every five to eight years. These hurdles can be very challenging for homesteaders on frugal budgets.
Wind turbines are an excellent source of energy if you live in the wide open prairie or a on a high hill where there are plenty of strong winds.
Most small wind generators are over-rated to make sales and do not deliver anywhere near the top rated capacity. Generally they are rated to produce 24 volts in high gusty winds but most days will produce 7-11 volts. Windmills also have a tendency to weather vane slowing down and speeding up thereby reducing its effectiveness.
From experience if I were to choose between a new set of solar panels or a wind mill, tower, and guy wires I would upgrade with solar panels.
Solar panels will still be your best choice even on cloudy days because there are no moving parts, no expensive towers, shorter cable runs, and no repairs.
In addition to the above statements; bargains can be found from dealers selling used panels at half the price, and with no taxes on used equipment all because some people upgrade and they have to be all the same!
Appearances don’t matter when I need power.