It’s hard to find anyone who disagrees with the idea that solar and storage will change the nature of the world’s energy systems, and that within a few decades, more than half our electricity needs will be met by consumers themselves.
This will come from rooftop solar and battery storage, some very smart software, and other technologies, and some new concepts.
How this plays out is going to be fascinating, and for the consumer, quite confusing.
One Step Off the Grid is a sister site to Australia’s leading renewable energy website, RenewEconomy.com.au. It is designed to provide information to consumers on new technologies, what other people are doing, and to help them through this maize of information.
The name of the website is quite deliberately chosen. For many people, in remote areas, in new housing developments, or those building a new home, the choice to be off the grid could be quite simple.
To others, it will not be so simple. We don’t advocate that homeowners and businesses should leave the grid, because we believe that the grid is a public good and should be shared. But we recognize that new technology arms people with the choice to do so, and unless the incumbent utilities change their business models, and their pricing if needs be, then people will have every right to exercise that choice.
Some people call it energy democracy, others point to the Power of the Consumer. It will be a challenge for technology developers, incumbents, policy makers, regulators, and consumers.
But it will be a fascinating course to run. Households and businesses, and even local communities, have genuine options – not just to cut emissions and lower their footprint, but also to save costs.
We hope to provide news, information, and great stories about what people are doing and why. We hope that you, the reader, can join in the discussion and tell your friends about it. Please send us your ideas, and your stories!
RenewEconomy and One Step Off The Grid are independent websites founded by Giles Parkinson, a journalist of more than 30 years experience, a former Business Editor and Deputy Editor of the Australian Financial Review, a former columnist for The Bulletin magazine and The Australian.
Giles is joined by Sophie Vorrath, who has worked on RenewEconomy since its inception and edits One Step Off The Grid, and the rest of the team at RenewEconomy and our electric vehicle specialist site, The Driven.