Whilst way beyond my own humble aspirations for energy self sufficiency, the fantastically named Island Micro Grid just commissioned at the Centre for Alternative Technology is an interesting development.
I was shocked to read:
The developed world’s centralised electricity system wastes around 65% of energy through heat loss in power stations and transmission lines, before reaching our homes.
How wasteful! And what a great reason to consider and for governments to encourage local energy generation.
An Island Micro Grid is a way to connect together diverse electricity generation technologies (wind, hydro, photovoltaic etc.) and to use generated power locally rather than exporting to the grid. A grid connection is mantained (in effect a bridge from the island grid to the national grid) to allow excess power to be exported to the grid or to allow a draw down from the grid when sufficient power is not available locally.
Read more at the link given above.