Installing renewables on people’s homes

OK, this is not a claim to have a solution. This is actually a question and call for conversation for people who know better.

Energy companies are not really interested in distributed renewable energy – even if this might solve many of our problems related to energy and pollution. The main reason is, they loose their business. If you are in the business of selling energy to customers, by putting up big energy generation schemes like nuclear energy or gas and oil burning utilities, then you are not really happy about people installing solar panels and the like in their homes.

However, installing such devices on our roofs, gardens, terraces etc. is still quite costly. Many house owners can not afford to do it, also because in many places feed-in tariffs (payments to home energy producers who feed surplus back to the grid) often are not enticing enough, making a pay off only possible in a 15 to 20 years time.

So I was thinking (and I am convinced someone else must have had thought about this before), what if those energy companies would install renewable energy generation devices like windmills, solar panels and the likes on peoples homes and in private space? They would not have to build gigantic costly utilities, and also reduce the amount of transmission investments. People would not be bothered with investments – and would still be paying for energy, even if it is generated on their roofs (in urban areas, this might be even more interesting, as most people share space in some building).

Of course, this would need to be calculated etc. to see if such a business could be viable.

What I know communities are starting to do is to actually take this challenge on themselves. You might for example found a community owned company (for example a Community Interest Company CIC in the UK), which runs the local energy generating scheme, and sells the energy back to the community (and maybe surplus to the grid at higher price). This is what is doing in Totnes.

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