There was a special I once saw about a small town of people in America that where living off-grid. The houses where built out of recycled materials, and I believe they where in a desert. If anyone knows what I am talking about, could you please tell me where to look; my memory fails me at this moment.
You mean that town in New Mexico where every house is something known as an Earthship?
Thank you for the information, I incorrectly assumed they were in Nevada.
You can probably do this anywhere with the right planning, Les Stroud did it in a northern climate. You can also check out Dick Proenneke’s stuff.
The only problem is is that the current renewable energy solutions still have a ways to go in terms of both energy efficiency and cost (solar panels are still somewhat inefficient and wastes most of the sun’s energy as heat and the small wind turbines that can fit on the roof of a house are pricey).
I wouldn’t try giving solar energy a serious go unless one can find a way to make it more efficient (unless you have the money to cover the roof of course), as for wind power, find some miniature wind generator models if you can, the big ones have been known to kill birds and cause unpleasant symptoms like nausea in some people. There’s a new model out by Honeywell industries that uses rare earth magnets to make the rim itself the generator which allows it to generate power in wind as low as 2 MPH.
Dude you can just burn wood.
check out the documentary Garbage Warrior (believe it’s viewable in full online, otherwise, tpb).
about power… DIY split barrel wind turbines are said to be real easy to build and outputting more energy than you’d believe.
there are other videos with instructions and discussion etc but will post this for the funny way he shows it off just standing there opening a can of beer lol http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHPGwjlP6QE
also… go nuts checking out “permaculture” videos
If your house is properly insulated/designed, uses solar heating and gas/wood for cooking/refrigeration, your electricity needs will be minor and a simple panel or two should be enough for your computing needs if you get out of the house every now and then. Sorry, no space heater/render farm for you!
This is a pretty cool site http://www.rmi.org/ Amory Lovins is a smart guy. It’s more business-centered, but it’s great to see people out there doing the green thing in a smart, non-annoying way.
Solar Panel its just a Marketing Product, Stirling Generators with Parabolic dish and Fresnel can generate 2.5 to 3 X than solar panel, and you can build your own.
I agree with juan in a big way- a 3x3 fresnel lens can vaporize a penny on a sunny day in seconds. That’s how much energy is hitting the Earth’s surface at a constant rate. Solar panels still seem really wimpy to me compared to the raw energy from the Sun.