Solar energy is not complicated. It’s just new to us.
Humans are adaptable, but many of us don’t like change. Solar energy and other renewable energy systems do require some thinking and work to get established, but it’s easy to see that they’re the better deal once making the transition.
If every home had their own solar energy system, storms wouldn’t make much of a dent. If your power goes out, you can run an extension cord from your neighbour’s. When our consumption is very closely connected to our production, I believe that people use energy much more responsibly.
Simple is good, and solar is definitely less complicated than the current grid most of us use. And while people may just want cold beers and hot showers, I suspect they’d feel better knowing their life’s comforts were being produced using more sustainable energy sources.
With climate change, grid privatization, and rising energy costs, moving to a more simple and resilient energy system seems like a good bet to me. I personally feel less stress and happier knowing that I’m having a positive impact on my life through using solar technology.
It would be great if we all had a choice about how energy is produced, but our society is intertwined and complex. In some places there is even opposition to renewable technology, and certain systemic forces keep the status quo alive.
I had a personal mind blast visiting my uncle in Portugal a few years ago. As we drove through the winding mountain roads, I noticed a group of wind towers in the distance. I knew that in Ontario, Canada there was a lot of opposition to wind turbines, so I asked my uncle what the arguments opposing wind turbines were in Portugal.
Surprised at the question, he replied that there was no opposition. Why would there be? Everyone there supported wind projects, since it meant clean energy and local power production instead of imports.
I wondered what the difference was in Ontario? Does it come down to habits? In Ontario, we have certainly embraced the automobile and the lifestyle that goes along with driving around everywhere. We are the nuclear province. Does this help us understand why we haven’t moved towards wind energy or why there are people who completely resist wind energy?
It’s difficult to change the world, big systems, or things outside of our control. The beautiful thing about small solar energy systems is that they’re not really that complicated if you’re in the right environment. With someone helping you along the way, you can learn a great deal about how to use solar energy to benefit your life.
It seems like there’s a lot of unknowns before you begin your solar energy journey, but it all changes once you start down the road. After building your first solar energy system, you’ll be able to make much quicker moves the second time around.
Over time, your skills and experiences will increase, and maybe one day you will be so good at building solar energy systems that changing how communities use energy will be the next level you’ll want to reach.