Human population is still growing fiercely. At the turn of the century we reached 6 Billion in number. Where will the energy come from if we continue to double the earth's population every 40 years? What about food, clean air, clean water, enough lumber and forests too? How can we possibly address the rapid growth of our population? Solar electricity is a good answer to start, at least to buy a little more time in which we must discover how to live well with available sustainable resources, and with each other.
There are opportunities to choose solar power other than remote living where it is the only available source of power. Increasingly, people are conscious of environmental concerns related to our society's energy use. It is now possible to live comfortably and still choose natural and clean sources of energy rather than oil, coal, or nuclear sources. Many of our customers are people who choose to demonstrate this with their lives and their homes, even if it costs a little more, and even where utility lines are easily available. Backwoods Solar applauds the service these folks are providing in pioneering cleaner technology and educating our society. Many states now provide financial incentives, rebates, or low interest loans to encourage use of renewable energy where it would otherwise not be competitive with utility power. Our off-grid solar electric design experience goes back almost 35 years. We have learned through our own first-hand knowledge the best practices for installing and maintaining these stand-alone battery based systems.
In urban solar electric homes, the power system is pretty much the same as described on our pages about remote homes. As in every energy conscious home, conservation is still prerequisite to using solar electricity. The power consumption may be a little larger than most remote, stand-alone solar homes. Homes near town generally have a few more appliances and amenities than more rural or mountain dwellings. There are many different options for utility inter-tied homes to use solar. Some will only use the solar as a mechanism to reduce their power bill through net-metering. However, there is also the option to incorporate batteries into these systems as a method of having a back-up power source when there is a utility outage. Backwoods Solar specializes in the design of both of these types of grid-connected systems.
In conclusion, the philosophy here is to design the house to be so energy efficient that it needs very little power to function well. This is the concept that we push because it is a large part of what makes solar power practical and affordable today. Radical energy conservation needs to be demonstrated to the rest of our society and world so our energy supplies will continue to be enough to go around.