For total energy self-sufficiency, the off-grid solar power system is the way to go. It gives you complete immunity from all the vagaries of grid power supply. When considering the solar power pros and cons, it’s a good idea to factor in the possibility of extended electric grid failure. This can happen for a wide range of reasons. Fire, flood, storm damage, ice damage are just some of the situations where you may be deprived of grid power for long periods.
Thanks to climate change, emergencies of this kind are increasing every year. Television news broadcasts all too often show families whose lives have been turned upside down by natural catastrophe, and the most common element is a failure of power supplies.
In situations like these, your off-grid system will continue to provide power for the essentials of life, while grid-dependent families are literally powerless.
A total off-grid power system for an average size home is not cheap. It is by far the most expensive solar option available. This is mainly due to the cost of batteries, the most expensive items in the system. However, you should not let this fact deter you from aiming for off-grid independence. You can start small while still connected to the grid by installing a solar array with battery backup, and increasing your storage capacity incrementally.
If you’re already in an off-grid situation, in an area with no grid supply, you also have options. A small portable solar system will supply power to electronic devices like computers, radios and televisions, while you use alternative power sources for more power-hungry items, cooking and heating your hot water with a wood or gas-fired stove, for example. By gradually increasing the number of solar panels and batteries, your system can grow with your needs.
The great beauty of solar electricity is its flexibility; you can design a system that suits your budget and your situation. One of the major reasons people don’t consider a solar installation is up-front cost; they think they can’t afford it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whatever your situation, there is an affordable solar option that will match your finances.