The solar market continues to develop at a wonderfully rapid pace. One of the primary reasons to consider solar has always been energy independence. For some, independence was freedom from power outages – or, even more so, complete independence from the electric grid itself. For others, independence meant creating clean power for a fixed cost that protected them from rising energy costs with a return on investment.
For many, the combination of independence from the grid and the protection from rising energy costs was considered at odds – the costs for batteries / storage were seen as too high to create a financial return. Furthermore, the two ideas were seen as “either-or” from a technology and cost standpoint. There was the thought that installing batteries was essentially “all-or-none” at an extremely high cost.
Fortunately, as solar has matured over the last several years, those barriers and ways of thinking are breaking down and new options are available.
Each option has significant benefits and trade-offs with varying levels of grid independence and financial returns. Furthermore, within those options there is modularity. You still have a choice to customize each option to maximize your investment and meet your goals.
We’ll follow-up next with a discussion on option #1 – connecting to the grid without batteries and still getting energy when the sun is up and the grid is down.