Renewables and Resilience

An article published in the New York Times on Monday brought to light an interesting paradox that’s plagued many homeowners who have invested in solar power. When we see homes with solar panels on their roofs, we often think of them as “off the grid”, dependent on their own power generation and thus immune to pedestrian inconveniences like widespread outages. One of the big draws to invest in solar, however, comes from the home’s ability to stay connected to the grid. In these cases, the electricity generated by the solar panels actually gets sent back into the grid (the owners receive a check from the utility if their panels generate more than the home consumes), and during the night they draw electricity from the grid like any other house on the block. This sounds like a pretty good deal, and it is – until the power goes out. When it does, many grid-connected systems aren’t able to send their power anywhere, and the houses beneath them are left in the dark. But it doesn’t have to be this way; in fact, reaping some of solar power’s greatest benefits may depend upon a change in this regard. Read the story here.

Source: Wikipedia.

Rooftop Solar Panels. Source: Wikipedia.


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