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lessons learned on the journey toward independence

Posted by in Renewable Energy
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Why Renewable Energy

One of the most important factors that has encouraged dependence in our society is electricity.    Before it became widely used, people were generally much less reliant on “the system”.    With its advent, life has become much easier, more convenient, fast paced, and completely dependent for even life’s most basic necessities. If we follow the trail of dependence for almost any item we use or need, it leads to electricity--with very few exceptions.

Take your car, for example. Most run on some sort of oil-based fuel, so how could it be dependent on electricity? Simple...what does it run on?    Gasoline or diesel.    Where do you buy that? How is it pumped from the gas station’s storage tanks? How do they operate their cash registers or process your credit card? You guessed it. Electricity. And how is that fuel transported to the gas station? By trucks running on fuel that was pumped with an electric pump. How is oil refined into fuel and transported to the distribution centers?    Almost all of these processes involve electricity, to a greater or lesser extent. We could go on for some time following the trail of dependence, but you get the picture.

While most of us could do without our automobile in an emergency and could walk or ride a bicycle or horse, there are certain basic necessities that we simply must have.    These are water, shelter (especially heat), and food.    Most Americans have become completely dependent for at least two if not all three of these.    And the dependence usually involves electricity to a greater or lesser degree. Almost every form of heat (other than wood) involves electricity--even propane or natural gas forced air systems. Almost every American is dependent on electricity of some sort for water, whether it comes from the city / community water system or from a well (remember that electric pump?). And due to the way our food system currently operates, electricity is an important ingredient.    Tractors, factories/ warehouses, transportation, grocery stores--all depend on electricity to some extent.

But our power grid is very reliable and not likely to encounter any major issues, right? Unfortunately that is not the case. The purpose of this website is to present solutions, so there is not space for looking at the major issues we currently face.

In spite of issues we face that could threaten our nation’s electrical infrastructure on a local, regional, or even national basis, there are even more fundamental reasons for not being dependent on the power grid (notice we did not say you must dispense with it--the issue is dependence).    For Bible-believing Christians, Revelation warns of a time in the near future when those who refuse the mark of the beast will be forbidden and unable to buy or sell anything (Revelation 13:17). That includes electricity. Although it was once considered improbable or even impossible, the move toward a cashless society is making this a very real possibility. Another reason could include not wanting to support giant corporations which may be taking actions that violate one’s principles.    For others, it may be environmental issues. The factors are many.

So, what is the answer to all of this?    It really isn’t just an answer. It is a lifestyle change. The solution is to live in such a way that your basic necessities of life would not be cut off when the power is. There are two possible routes to go.

  1. Be prepared to live non-electrically. This does not mean you must live without electricity right now. It involves setting up your homestead in such a way that electricity is not essential.  That means having non-electric methods for doing any necessary tasks.
  2. The other option is to produce your own electricity in an independent and renewable manner.  In short, a renewable energy system.


Electricity is not a basic necessity of life.    But many have become so dependent upon it that they would not be able to function without it. This is one reason that renewable energy has become so popular these days.    It provides a way to continue living a “normal” lifestyle even when electricity from the power company is not available (for whatever reason).    In addition, many remote properties are some distance from the nearest power lines and the cost to access those lines can be quite expensive (we have heard of quotes ranging from $18,000 for 1 mile to $30-40,000 for several miles). And it makes no sense to pay a large sum of money just for the privilege of receiving a power bill every month!    There are many advantages for renewable energy and we enjoy it so thoroughly that going back “on-the-grid” is not something we ever plan to do. 

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Guest Saturday, 15 December 2018

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