Partial/progressive off-grid, a proposal

I already commented on the self-consumtion regulation in draft in Spain, (basically a retroactive measure to stop any development). The reason behind is the excess of fixed system costs; with decreasing energy consumption, power and energy prices increase in a feedback loop. Blocking self-consumption is an attemp to avoid further grid energy consumption decrease.

Off-grid balance

As in other countries with similar fixed costs, decreasing demand pushes towards higher energy prices, and taxing self-consumption is seen as a regulatory solution. Apparently off-grid is becoming already a cheaper option. As it is not the best solution for the system as a whole, an intermediate solution could be the following:

Instead of going off-grid altogether, different systems can be “off-gridded”, in order to reduce the contracted power (limited and priced) as well as the resulting energy bill. An example of this would be, and is also a solution for developping countries where rural electrification with renewables can feed this services: Solar/wind freezers and solar/wind air conditioning.

Basically these “consumers” would be disconnected from the grid, and only supplied with available and local renewable energy. Either with electric (PV, wind) or solar thermal energy. An additional benefit in case electric, is that they can run directly on DC, avoiding transformers and inverters. In both cases the demand is partially linked with solar availability (in the case of the fridge, a well isolated fridge that won’t be opened much during nightime can maintain temperature with additional thermal storage/inertia.)

Of course other less evident areas within a building or a home can be off-gridded partially, and some might need local storage.

Another option would be to use an automated transfer switch to change from renewable to grid and viceversa (avoiding the system to be connected to the grid any moment) to escape possible tolls/taxes/tariffs.

At this moment, some off-grid appliances are available: for example the solar dryer presented by Miele recently, or DC powered refrigerators

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4 pensamientos en “Partial/progressive off-grid, a proposal

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