From the world’s first electromagnetic generator to modern electrical grids, power delivery has evolved greatly since early inventors first discovered electricity and its extensive capabilities. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), renewable energy now contributes to roughly a third of global power capacity – reflecting an ongoing shift towards sustainable power. Although many areas use on-grid electrical systems, individuals and remote communities turn to microgrid, renewable energy systems to save some green and maximize energy storage.
Homeowners play a vital role in the global initiative to “go green.” Common residential practices include thermostat automation or using LED lightbulbs, but microgrid electrical systems, including solar panel installations, transform at-home power delivery.
Modern electrical grids use generators to power our homes, businesses, schools and other community essentials. Overhead or underground transmission lines transport electricity from the generator, commonly recognized as coal- or natural gas-burning power plants, over long distances to “on-grid” end-users. An increase in awareness about, and accessibility to, renewable energy resources, however, has helped homeowners adopt microgrid electrical systems, which meet small-scale electricity needs.
Solar panels, for example, can operate as standalone, “off-grid” power delivery systems or can be integrated into the surrounding electrical grid. Off-grid systems are self-sufficient and operate off of a remote battery bank. But that’s not always the easiest solution. Grid-connected systems combine components from residential renewable energy sources with large-scale power delivery. Unused electricity is transmitted back into the grid to limit excess energy, and if usage exceeds what is generated, the grid provides a reliable backup source.
Skilled professionals working to develop sustainable energy, also known as green-collared workers, have the technical skills and industry know-how to transform today’s power delivery methods. Local requirements for home energy systems vary greatly, but safety remains a critical component. Contact your power provider to learn more about sustainability in your community. Together, we can continue working towards a greener future.
How have you contributed to the increasing demand for renewable energy? Share your experiences, on- or off-grid, with us on social media.