Saturday, 2 July 2016

Going off-grid

It's about doing without the National Grid:
Off-the-grid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Off Grid: Living Off The Grid – How To Live Off The Grid

It's also about saving a bit:
11. Living Off-grid | The Moneyless Manifesto

Going 'off-grid' has been proving popular, for householders:
Futures Forum: "It's the holy grail of home owners who have invested in solar panels – the ability to store power for use when the sun isn't shining."

... and for communities:
Futures Forum: Balcombe: making a community self-sufficient in electricity

And it's proving financially attractive:
Futures Forum: Local energy can be very profitable: "Seizing the opportunity of decentralised energy generation can provide new income streams for communities and councils."

It might be a wiser way to go, considering:
Futures Forum: Energy infrastructure @ Hinkely C >>> losing control and paying tithes to Direct Foreign Investors

Back in April 2014, things were taking off:

Off-grid living: it's time to take back the power from the energy companies

The bankers are saying that off-grid living is now so viable that it threatens the whole utilities model. Nick Rosen, editor of off-grid.net, argues that it can't happen a minute too soon
It's official. Off-grid energy is moving from the eco-fringe to mainstream. Last month US investment bank Morgan Stanley announced that the off-grid era had arrived: falling prices for renewable energy equipment and rising prices for energy supplied by power companies are fundamentally altering the business model of the trillion-dollar electricity industry.

Off-grid living: it's time to take back the power from the energy companies | Life and style | The Guardian

And lately it seems to be everywhere:
Fight the power: living off-grid in Ireland

Me and my garden: ‘I hope my son will appreciate the wisdom nature has to offer’
Randy Mayers on his garden near Totnes in Devon
We moved to Devon with our son in 2014, where we now live in an off-grid community set in 42 acres. I’m specialising in how to use small spaces for intensive growing and self-sustainability, and teach introduction to permaculture courses and more specialist subjects, such as composting.
When I lived in London, I helped set up May Project Gardens, growing food and teaching people about nature. The disconnect that I noticed between those young people and nature was heartbreaking. I hope that my son will grow up to appreciate the wisdom that nature has to offer us.

Me and my garden: ‘I hope my son will appreciate the wisdom nature has to offer’ | Life and style | The Guardian
Landmatters Community | Permaculture Project

The Telegraph too has been showing interest:

How to check out of the modern world with your family and live off-grid
Melanie Finn and her husband, Matt are raising their twin daughters in rural Vermont, in a house they built themselves without many of the modern conveniences we take for granted. They forage for food, use solar panels for energy, burn wood for heat and draw water from a well using an electric pump. Here she talks to the Telegraph about the joys - and challenges - of living off-grid

In 2013, when our twin daughters were three, we bought 342 acres of land in Vermont, in the States, and began building a house.
Since then we’ve tried to live completely off-grid, using solar panels for energy, burning wood for heat, and using an electric pump to draw water from the well.

How to check out of the modern world with your family and live off-grid

Off grid does not necessarily mean 'checking out of the modern world':

The joy of an off-grid home
Rural home owners are shunning power-company price rises and embracing the idea of going off-grid and generating their own electricity, explains Caroline McGhie.
Out on the flatlands between the Norfolk Broads and Great Yarmouth is a small thatched cottage with blue painted windows that has hardly changed in the past two centuries. Marsh Farm is a former marshman’s cottage, surrounded on all sides by drainage ditches. The horizon is broken only by two windmills, Howard’s Mill and Berney Mill. There is no mains electricity, water, sewerage or sealed road to reach it by.
“My wind-up radio is my best friend,” says the owner, Pete Atkins. “Whoever buys this house needs to do so with heart and not head.” At night he is cut off from modern life and he loves it. He has a generator fuelled by red diesel, specifically made for home heating. “I only have it on when I need, so I wash and do everything at the same time as I need light.” Water comes from a bore hole and is filtered before he drinks it; sewage goes into a septic tank.

The joy of an off-grid home - Telegraph

And there are some really groovy designs out there:

Off-grid tiny house looks like it belongs in a fairytale
Living large in a tiny home is more than just possible—it can be beautiful too. Tiny house builder Abel Zimmerman Zyl of Zyl Vardos designed and built Moon Dragon, a gorgeous house on wheels that looks like it was plucked from Middle-Earth. The tiny timber home boasts charming curves and arches, a surprisingly roomy interior, and even comes with off-grid capabilities.
The tiny home is entered via hand-built Dutch-style doors that open up into a wood-lined interior that looks surprisingly spacious thanks to its tall arched ceiling built from cedar tongue and groove. The 216-square-foot main floor features a small wood-burning stove, mahogany ply cabinetry and walls, and a cork floor. The kitchen boasts a five-burner Range cooker with two ovens, as well as an energy-efficient fridge and washing machine, along with plenty of storage. Behind the kitchen is the bathroom that houses a shower, sink, and composting toilet. The 117-square-foot loft bedroom—big enough for a queen-sized bed—is reached via storage-integrated stairs.

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