In the USA the cult of "homepower" has its own web sites and
magazines. That culture is rich in the frontier spirit and
bands of survivalists who feel empowered by their 'off-grid'
independence. Here in the more cramped quarters of Northern
Europe the culture is something different. People may go to
the beach at the weekend rather than their hideaway
somewhere up in the mountains.
Instead we live in small houses and our outlook is
orientated around 'home-improvement'. If we are lucky enough
to have a house. Many live in apartments or rented
accommodation. For them this is a moot topic. Although
landlords are willing to entertain their tenants making such
an investment it is hard to imagine anyone other than
homeowners indulging in home generation. This narrows the
audience somewhat - for now. Things will change and we deal
with that in our "Move" step.
For now - just assume you are a home owner in Europe. What
to do? The price of power is spiralling. Gas an oil are
running low. Vast quantities of energy are wasted in the
national grid transporting power from Power Station to your
home. You are starting to experience power blackouts. So why
not generate it yourself? Unfortunately the economics are
not in your favour because the enormous subsidy that
Fossil Fuel currently receive because their true costs are
externalised. Peak Oil essentially does that job for us and
internalises that cost. Very rapidly. You MUST be ready.
We recommend that all our Post-Carbon Living friends need to get in on
the ground floor before the production costs rise out of
your reach. Some European Governments are offering Grants to
householders to encourage the industry. This is patchy
around Europe, often too little and often misplaced. The UK
Government's endorsement of largely useless domestic
wind-turbines is a good example. Home insulation and solar
thermal should be promoted over and above photo-voltaics but
they are not for odd political reasons. The industry is also
dominated by the large generators and is orientated around
their needs. In the UK this means that your own power
generation must be switched off if the Grid-supplied power
goes down. Ironic isn't it?
This is supposedly for safety
reasons. If you want to be genuinely 'off-grid' then you
will have to sever your links to the grid or operate a dual
circuit around your home.
So please study our guides to each technology and judge for
yourself. The good news is that for less than the outlay for
a good new family car you can equip your house with Power
generation equipment that reduces your energy bills and
carbon footprint by 50%. It is relatively easy and they can
be applied to most houses. So what are you waiting for?
The future of
energy supplies will be local. Globalised and centralised
power supply systems have had their day. In future all power
will be driven my local power nodes much as the Internet is.