Should we be trying to get off the electricity grid?
Should we be trying to go Off-Grid? Unless you live on a remote, country property, the simple answer is No! Love it or not, the Grid is both indispensable and inevitable for the foreseeable future.
The Electricity Grid, despite its obvious pollution problems, is the largest single ‘object’ built by mankind. It supplies 15,000 billion kilowatt hours of energy p.a. and is the essential infrastructure of modern life, reaching into every home, office and factory.
While there are many initiatives to try to ‘get-off’ the Grid in attempts to assist the environment and reduce cost, these initiatives are decades away from practical reality in urban environments. There are partial solutions to be sure…PV panels, wind farms and batteries…..but these are intermittent and work only part of the time…for example, while the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. What do you do the remainder of the time? Even if you purchase home storage batteries, these are still very expensive, and you need a lot of them to cope with the high power and energy needs of many houses. Also, how do you charge them? Solar PV might be OK for the first rainy day, or even two, but what do you do when you have 14 days of rain and overcast?
The major limitations to ‘getting off the Grid’ are roof size, which limits the amount energy available from solar panels, and the size and cost of energy storage. If you want to run a washing machine, electric oven, dishwasher, TV, air-conditioning and heating, and a swimming pool, you will almost certainly not have enough roof space to collect the required energy. There is just so much sunshine arriving on a typical roof and it is simply not enough for modern, especially in a city such as Sydney, which averages 109 days of sunshine, 129 days of rain and 127 days of overcast, each year. living in a climate such as. This is a law-of-physics limitation and not just technological nor commercial. If you do have a large roof and solar energy to spare, you still need the Grid to share your surplus energy.
The best thing to do, in our view, is to use the Grid effectively, as does Pooled Energy, and wait for the new technologies to become available to help with the current limitations. Pooled Energy already provides solar PV optimisation free and has designed its system to also integrate batteries. We are eagerly awaiting the availability of cost effective battery systems which will allow us to offer a wider range of unique services to all of our customers.