The answer to our aging electricity grid may not be simply spending billions of dollars on modernizing it. We already know that there is a limit to how much intermittant renewable generation we can add to even a well functioning grid. That limit is removed if we add sufficient energy storage capability.
The answer may be that we need to reduce our reliance on a grid of any kind. What I mean by this is that maybe we should be putting much more emphasis and investments into home solar energy and energy storage systems, bypassing the grid.
Solar panels are usually part of any net zero energy home design
Before we run out a start pricing home solar with energy storage, we need to ensure that our homes are using the least amount of energy as possible. Energy efficiency measures such as insulation, programmable temperature controls, management systems and much more help do just this.
Solar hotwater with storage are part of any net zero energy design
Can We Go Futher Than Net Zero Home Design.
How far can you reduce the energy requirements for a home with all the modern convienances? The answer is net zero energy ( actually we can do better by generating more than we use ).
So what is a net-zero-energy home, you might ask? Well, while it’s not exactly “off the grid,” it is a home built to reduce the net amount of energy used by a household to zero by incorporating leading-edge, energy efficient technology and generating electricity
A net-zero-energy home includes renewable energy systems, such as solar power, but it’s still connected to the electricity grid. It can supply the grid when it’s producing electricity and draw from it when needed. Over the course of a year, the energy supplied to the grid balances the energy drawn from the grid. This is what we call “net-zero energy.”
A net-zero-energy home is not exactly “off the grid”. It is a home built to reduce the net amount of energy used by a household to zero by incorporating leading-edge, energy efficient technology and generating electricity
In this video made by the National Research Council Canada, you see the efforts of a partnership with Canadian builders to refine an efficient cost effective net zero energy home.
About Gordon Smith Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.