3 off-grid renewable energy models to consider: ACWA Power


There are several reasons why individuals and communities live off the grid, says ACWA Power in their article, Off Grid. For some communities, connecting to the grid (the main public electrical supply system) may be too expensive, either because residents have low incomes or infrastructure costs are high. Others simply choose to be self-sufficient and live off the grid voluntarily.

For this second group of “off-gridders”, many are choosing renewable power generation, which is very much in line with the global push to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. However, moving to cleaner energy can be a problem for those living off-grid as energy supply may not be consistent. 

The key is in storing excess renewable energy. The good news is that as technologies improve, home and community energy storage options are becoming increasingly viable in terms of cost, maintenance and reliability.

ACWA Power suggests these three models to allow those living off-grid to maximise the availability of renewable energy.

  1. 1. Building a self-sustainable home. Using available technologies, homes could be 100 per cent self-powered. Technologies like Tesla’s Powerwall home battery, for example, store excess solar energy during the day to be used at night. Technology combined with architectural choices such as thick walls and smart windows will make a home more energy efficient.
  2. Community electricity storage banks. Small communities can take advantage of community-based power generation using a utility scale battery. Households with solar panels, like those in Meadow Springs, Western Australia, store excess power in a single battery, which is then directed back to households at night.
  3. Pay-as-you-go models. Startup companies, like Pawame in Kenya, allow customers to pay for their solar home systems with small instalments, rather than expecting the full payment upfront. This gives households access to renewable energy that they previously could not afford.

For more long-term predictions for off-grid energy business models, please read ACWA Power’s article Off Grid.

Join us at SIEW 2019 and hear more about the impact of electrification with Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO of ACWA Power, as he participates in the panel discussion, Electrification – Powering Growth, on 29 October 2019. We look forward to seeing you from 29 October to 1 November 2019!


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