Solar power in our future
We have talked about PV solar power here many times. I have lived off-grid as have at least two other NL members so we know it works. What's relatively new, at least in this region, is grid-tie PV systems. Some are commercial, others are home systems. What generally is getting in the way of more of these systems are laws (that benefit big-scale power producers).
An opinion piece titled Reader Supported News looks at how this is changing, and why.
As the price of solar panels drops, they increasingly are being spontaneously bought and installed by villagers throughout the world, who are often ill-served, or not served at all, by the central power grid in their countries. Some remain off the grid once they have gone solar. Just as many countries in Africa skipped the stage of building copper wire telephone transmission lines all over the place, and instead went straight for cell phones, so they may also be able to avoid trying to deliver power through a central grid to everyone.
One of this examples is the recently installed power plant in Guatemala.
Central America’s largest solar facility, in Guatamala, is still relatively small by world standards (5 megawatts). But it will power 24,000 homes and in a country like Guatamala, that is huge.
Guatemala has a law in place which allows any electricity consumer to sell energy back to the utility. The electricity charge on your bill is for the net usage for the month. That is, your total consumption minus what you produced and fed back into the grid. With low prices of PV panels and synchronous inverters, producing at least some of your power is very practical. With such a law in Nicaragua, moving toward all-renewable power becomes easier.
For you doubters, peak electricity demand occurs during peak sun hours. Thus, adding PV-solar to the mix is very effective.