The COVID-19 pandemic has seen disruption on a scale few of us have seen in our lifetime. This may prompt many to think about how to be more self-sufficient during future upheavals.
Using my own household, this article illustrates the challenges involved in energy self-sufficiency. But this could easily apply to businesses, buildings, or industrial sites.
It can be daunting to think how big a task sits ahead of us in making our energy system truly sustainable.
It’s only in the rear-view mirror that we see how far we’ve truly come, and the last decade has seen huge progress.
What do I see as some of the biggest breakthroughs of the last ten years?
An energy revolution is underway. Small businesses are now taking control of their energy costs by producing energy on their own. There’s no need to play second fiddle to big energy companies and be completely tied to a growing monthly bill.
This energy revolution isn’t just about solar – businesses are also taking advantage of geothermal, biomass, hydro, wind, or waste to energy.
The energy industry is changing rapidly, opening up new opportunities for innovative small businesses.
Businesses that have previously only been passive consumers of energy can become prosumers – (generating some energy needs on their own - Megawatts). But many cost effective opportunities in clean energy come from first reducing energy consumption (Negawatts).
Which should you pursue first? Is one preferable to the other?
For many years, large companies have ruled the roost in the energy industry. High costs have made it difficult for small “mum and pop” businesses to get a foot in the door. Most small businesses have had no choice but to sit back as passive consumers of energy.