Is it possible to get completely off grid?
That’s an important question right now in the context of rising electricity prices and dwindling supply of conventional natural fuels like coal and petroleum. However, before we get to explore whether is it possible to get completely off grid or not, let us first see what do we mean by an off-grid existence. An off the grid existence essentially means that the individual is independent of the conventional power utility electric supply by means of using alternative energy supply sources like solar energy or wind energy.
Not only solar and wind energy is considered off-grid, but also other alternative fuel sources like biomass and biogas may be considered as important aspects of an off grid existence. However, at this point of time, the question that is crucial to answer is that whether we can be completely off grid or not?
First, let us say that as a possibility a complete off grid existence is not completely impossible, as has been shown in the movie “Nim’s island”, where a scientist lives in a secluded island in the pacific with his daughter, and manages to run his computers and other household devices on solar power. But, whether that is possible in real life is a question that is a tad difficult to answer.
This is because solar power, the commonest off grid energy solution, is still very incapable of driving all the electrical appliances at home. Solar power appliances are now by and large limited only to solar battery chargers, solar cookers, solar lights and solar heaters. Television and refrigerator running on solar power are a rare sight, although it is definitely possible to run these larger appliances on solar power theoretically if we are installing solar power panels of considerable wattage.
Another off grid energy source, the wind energy, also has some important preconditions to be fulfilled before it can be used to run the electrical appliances. For generating wind power, it is important that the windmill is placed in an open field of at least one hectare where there is a considerable flow of wind all day long, and this is definitely a luxury for many of us. Still, as a final conclusion we should say that going completely off grid is definitely possible theoretically, if we can make the proper arrangements for it. Here’s a book, available from amazon, from where you can get a fair idea about off grid existence.
One might say that people lived for centuries without power, so you can live off-grid. Sure, but at what expense?