Why Obama is Conducting National Power Blackout Drills

3 Ways You Can Use Solar Power
Without Embracing Nutty
“Green Energy” Policies

The dangers of widespread power grid collapse are so real that this fall, federal authorities from the United States and several other countries held a massive joint exercise they called GridExII to prepare.

Among the issues: Zealous green regulators are forcing power company executives to incorporate wind and solar farm electricity into an out-of-date power grid that is fast approaching Third World status.

The facts:

  • Electricity Customers in the U.S. now spend 43% more on grid maintenance than they did in 2002.
  • Maintenance spending per customer is outpacing inflation by 100%.
  • Even with all this spending, power outages take longer to fix than they did ten years ago.
  • Electrical infrastructure equipment is getting old, making it much more susceptible to storm damage or incidental failure.
  • When utility companies replace broken equipment, they rarely take advantage of the opportunity to modernize.
  • When calculating power grid reliability, utilities and government agencies ignore major outages caused by big storms.

While analyzing the stability of the U.S. power grid, one grid security expert said, “The electric system is the critical linchpin of our society, and we are operating the overall system closer to the edge.” Another, industry expert uses the term “uncomfortably common” when describing how often utilities don’t know the actual location of critical equipment.

Often, power companies don’t know there is an outage until a customer calls to complain. If you depend solely on the power grid for your access to electricity, you could soon find yourself left in the dark… literally. The time to secure your energy independence is now.

New Tech Makes Solar
a Better Investment Than Ever

Solar energy for your homeSolar power is less efficient than some other means of generating power, that’s true. But it has several tremendous advantages. If the sun is shining, you have access to ample free energy. Implementation of solar power in your home would relieve some of your dependence on our crumbling power grid, improving your self-sufficiency. And these days, solar technology itself is improving, both in efficiency and in ease of implementation.Taking advantage of new solar technologies is a good way to save on utility costs over the long run and will help make your household more self-reliant.

One of these new types of technology is a solar panel laminate. Unlike rigid, bulky solar panels that you see attached to the roofs of many homes and businesses these days, solar panel laminates are thin and easy to install. Each roll of solar laminate has a sticky back, so you can adhere it directly to a metal roof. If your roof isn’t made of metal, you can attach the laminate to TPO sheeting (thermoplastic polyolefin), and then adhere that to your roof.

Solar laminate converts power better in high heat and in partial shade than traditional panels and uses about 99% less silicon.

That’s great news! It means that as mass production of this less resource-intensive solar option comes online, it will become a cheaper, easier and more attractive way to install solar power in your home. For an average-sized home, solar panels and all the trappings – even these silicon-lite panels – can run close to $10,000. But the threat of energy price spikes in the future may mean that converting your home to run partially or fully on solar power makes smart financial sense.

Build Your System Incrementally

If a $10,000 buy-in is too much, consider this: you can add solar to your home incrementally.Investing in just a couple of solar panels and the inverter, switches, and other parts needed to feed the solar electricity into your home can cut your upfront costs by more than half.

You won’t generate as much power as you would if you purchased enough panels to cover the south side of your roof, but you will begin to offset your dependence on the grid. And you can add to your solar array over time.

Unlike many power systems that are an all-or-nothing proposition, with solar you have the option of growing your energy independence at a pace that makes sense for your budget.

Small Systems Make for Great Back-Up Power

Another great way to take advantage of solar power is to purchase a smaller, portable system that you can use during blackouts to power your freezer, to run a small crockpot, to charge your cell phone, or to recharge battery-operated power tools.

A solar generator system runs quietly and doesn’t require messy and expensive fuel storage like an gas-powered generator. Such a system could help you and your family to stay comfortable during difficult times – like a breakdown in the power grid.

New technologies and innovative designs are making solar power an attractive option for folks like us who would like to be more energy-secure in the face of our country’s crumbling electrical infrastructure.