What we are currently doing is NOT good enough. Climate goals are being postponed while energy consumers are being tapped dry. I suggest we look at the home energy ecosystem. This ecosystem provides not only electrical energy, also temperature control and charges the electric car. The benefits of this system are reviewed against three goals, saving cost for energy, reducing CO2 output and third resilience against natural disasters.
The experimental home energy ecosystem was sixteen solar panels with space for screen room. The electricity was run to a battery made of 1500 lithium cells with 14kWh capacity. The battery is connected a large DC/AC power inverter and automatic transfer switch. The topology is grid-fall-back, where loads run on solar while the battery charged, then if the battery goes dead it connects to grid. Also an air-source heat-pump. These are the main elements in the home energy ecosystem.
This Home Energy Ecosystem (HEE) saved $4500/year. This savings was avoiding $2500 gasoline, the electric car was charged from electricity. Next, the home electric loads were supplied by the HEE. Home electric consumption before was 12,500 kWh after was 5,400 KWH/year. The annual rate-of-return is 6%, which matches the S&P500 index. The home value increase is $10,000 USD. 97% of Americans can use a HEE. If $14K is spent on HEE, savings is $3600/yr.
The climate impact of the HEE is by reduced CO2. Humans are putting 50 gigatonnes (gt)of co2 per year into the earth’s atmosphere. One gallon of gasoline makes 19.6lb of CO2, 1 kWh produces .92lb of CO2 and 1 CCF of natural gas releases 12lb of CO2. In one year the HEE reduced CO2 output 29 metric tons per home. In the USA annual CO2 output is 5.1gt CO2, the HEE will eliminate 3.5gt(70% reduction.) To meet the 1.5C Paris Climate accord goal, 80% of all homes would need HEE.
Globally, looking at the supply side energy channels a HEE sized to household income adopted worldwide would reduce fossil energy 70%. This would reduce oil 5 billion barrels, (2.1gt CO2) Coal 12.4gt CO2 and home heating 4.1gt CO2. These reductions would total 18.5gt, which is 60% of the 32gt CO2 reduction needed by 2030 in the Paris accord to meet the 1.5C warming target.
Goal #3 results: disaster resilience.
Aging infrastructure and systemic resource inequality are compounded by climate change. February 15 2021 a winter storm stopped power to 4m Texans. But it was sunny 3 out of the 4 days during this grid outage. HEE would have provided some measure of lifesaving comfort, instead 100 people perished in the freezing cold and billions of damages was sustained due to frozen pipes.
Bold designs and market driven solutions have the hope of preserving the climate in the condition that we have all come to know and appreciate. All journeys start with a step, and this project represents the next step to addressing the key goals of less energy spending, climate impact reduction and also disaster resilience.