For every watt of renewable energy capacity, you have to have a backup. That backup is almost always going to be a fossil fuel. Not that is don’t want renewable energy. I just understand that we will continue to have to use fossil fuel for a long time to come. I was at an state environmental meeting a few years back. The one thing I remember about that meeting was a question posed by one of the guest speakers for the day. He asked, “What is going to be the fuel that drives our energy needs fifty years from now?” His answer, “Coal.” Maybe he is right? I don’t know? But, coal will be with us for a long time. Like it or not. Personally, I hope that every house has a solar array and a highly efficient battery system. That way no one will even need a power company. The power company will be the people that come out to do regular maintenance and repairs. If we still have a grid it will be to support your local neighborhoods power consumption during times of high usage in that neighborhood. I was reading that after the Chevy Volt battery has lived a good life inside the car that GM thinks it would be a great edition to a solar system as the primary storage of excess generation. 25kW hours could go along way in a power outage. (Sadly for some, it would not last more then half a day.)

But, conservation is still king. Do more with less. (I always hated to here that in a work environment.)We don’t have a need for a new high tech power plant if people would just start using less. In Indiana, my electric bill is usually around $100 for 1000kW hours. That same 1000kW hours in New York or California may cost well over $300. Not that anyone wants to pay more for anything but I think it would be nice if people would stop and look at their consumption. My TED unit has helped with that quite a bit.If the power company wants to help people reduce there bill so they don’t have to build another expensive plant then they need to inform their customers about their usage in real time. Not once a month.

Before I think about a solar system, I know that conservation is king. I would hope that yours is too. Paying good money for a high quality energy efficent appliance will save you more money than throwing more solar panels on your roof.