What do you think of when you think of off-grid living? That’s a question that Hawaii Business Magazine tackled this month in an article that showcases many different angles of off-grid living. The common misconception is that off-gridding is just a fringe movement and not actual a viable way of life, but it is already much more common than you think and the variety of lifestyles possible without being connected to a central utility may be even more surprising!
An estimated 200,000 people in the United States are currently living off-the-grid. “Off-grid lifestyles are becoming increasingly popular as people unplug from public utility companies to lower costs, convert to clean energy sources and live self-sufficiently,” writes Lianne Yu in the article. And this phenomenon is expected to grow – a recent report by Accenture stated that by the year 2035, the US can expect to have at least 12% percent of the population living an energy self-sufficient, off-grid life.
Four Profiles In Off-Grid Living in Hawaii
This article gives first-hand accounts of diverse ways to live off-grid from actual Hawaiian homeowners. Each lifestyle is segmented into categories ranging from the minimalist version of off-grid living to the more luxurious version and some in between. The author calls these profiles the Community Builders, The Adapter, The Monopoly Resistor, and the Systems Thinker (this last is our very own, Henk Rogers).
The Community Builders subscribe to a strict sustainable lifestyle that is built around a group of people living together, sharing common on-site activities that are not only disconnected from the electric utility but also from central water. They only use rainwater, solar energy, and farming to sustain their community. They don’t rely much on technology or modern-day devices but more on the natural resources available to them.
Then there is The Adapter, an ex-suburban married couple that was not looking for a radical lifestyle change but still wanted to be off-grid. This couple still enjoys a lot of the everyday comforts such as washing machines and other appliances, only now they are powered by renewable energy.
The main reason the Monopoly Resistor is choosing an off-grid life is for independence and self-sufficiency, yet doing so without a compromise on comfort or quality of life. This off-gridder’s home is a good example of what a fully-equipped home with all the latest off-grid devices that technology can offer.
The Ranch Microgrid with Blue Ion at the Heart
Then in the Systems Thinker profile, we have Henk Roger’s version of off-grid living. Visiting Henk’s house on the Pu’u Wa’a Wa’a Ranch goes beyond the expectation of what off-grid living can be and is more like taking a sneak peek into the future. Henk’s version of being off-grid means having enough solar power to supply energy for an entire neighborhood, if ever needed. The energy systems on the Ranch form a micro-grid that includes several dwellings, a workshop, the energy research lab, and electric vehicle charging. At the heart of the system is the Blue Ion energy storage system. The Ranch has now gone several years successfully on these robust, powerful batteries, charging each day from the solar array. Both of Henk’s residences, his home in Oahu and the Ranch – which also houses Blue Planet Energy research lab, are entirely off-grid.
To view the original article, see here: