IEA confirm mega-trend to off-grid power

Energy harnessed from the sun is predicted to displace fossil fuels by 2050 as the cost of solar cells plummets

Solar power will reach commercial “take-off” within a decade and displace fossil fuels to become the world’s biggest source of electricity by 2050, according to stunning new forecasts from the International Energy Agency.

The IEA said the cost of photovoltaic panels would continue to plummet, falling by a further 60 per cent for household rooftops and 70 per cent for power companies even after the dramatic gains of the recent years.

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Getting Off the Grid – options for city dwellers

Living off the grid was popularized by our editor, Nick Rosen, in the mid-1990s, back before social media took center stage or the pressing environmental issues of our time were fully understood by the everyday person. Though today “living off the grid” might look different
than he initially envisioned it, it is definitely something everyone needs to consider, whether you live rurally or in a city. Living off the grid today does not mean that you need to run off to one of the eco-havens in North America or elsewhere.In the USA, Lasqueti Island, Common Ground, and Earthaven are certainly settlements to look towards when designing future housing developments that promote the environment and health, but you don’t need to get onto their waiting list or uproot your life to start cutting yourself away from the city grid today.
It is also important to remember that “living off of the grid” is not something people always
choose. In the USA it is estimated that 1,300,000 people live off the grid, in 50–75% of cases this is due to poverty. When taking into consideration how much renewable electricity and other renewable options can be (even with government subsidies) it can feel that being eco-friendly and reducing your utilities bill is a pipe dream.
It is not.
There are many different options to help you reduce your reliance to the grid, make your home more eco-friendly, reduce your carbon footprint, and even boost your wellbeing right at home – even in a city.

Why Live Off the Grid

Living off of the grid as much as possible has multiple benefits. Most of these benefits are seen over long periods of time, making your investments now the better choice.

Extreme Utilities Savings

Powering your home predominately with renewable electricity that you have produced is one of the best ways to keep your utilities costs as low as possible, especially if you live in an area that refuses you to disconnect entirely due to health and safety concerns.

Great for the Environment

We need to completely stop our use of coal and other non-renewable resources and instead switch over to renewable alternatives. The benefits are obvious. Currently, we reach Earth Overshoot Day in between July or August, depending on reports. This means that we strip the earth of more than can be replenished in a year, and we still have five months to go.
By investing in renewable energy, we can reduce the carbon impact of coal, which currently is responsible for 30% of CO2 emissions around the world.

Boosting Wellbeing

By getting off the grid, through renewables, home-grown gardens, and reducing the
number of electrical gadgets, we can actually boost our wellbeing. Humans need nature. When we are connected to it we feel calmer, happier, and healthier. By getting off the grid in many ways, from energy to food production, you can …

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Alaska gold miners and bigfoot hunters

Buying Alaska – Dreaming of the Untamed North

Trying to Get Away? A new season of “Buying Alaska” starts August 3 on cable TV Station Destination America. Each episode will follow a couple as they examine three different properties and look to buy a piece of the untamed north.
[via press release from Destination America]

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Vermont Utility tries to bill for off-grid power

Letter to Vermon Times-Argus exposes grasping power Utility

“It really never ceases to amaze me what corporate America will try to do.

Idaho Public Utilities Commission recently rejected a proposal to raise monthly fees paid by homeowners who install solar panels.

That was after a June 26 decision by Louisiana Public Service Commission to maintain payment rates that utilities must make to solar-system owners for electricity. The commission voted 3-2 against a proposed fee increase supported by Entergy Corp.

It seems that Entergy and Idaho Power feel that solar-powered homes are not paying their fair share of costs to maintain power lines and respond to outages since they often have lower monthly electric bills. It seems they believe the lost revenue resulting from net metering can cut into utility profits.

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