Renewable energy is, perhaps, the most significant source of energy that humanity has been able to draw from. This is due to the fact that this kind of energy is, as the name suggests, renewable, meaning that the source of the energy will (practically speaking) never be exhausted, and also because it does not cause any more harm to the environment.
There may be a many many reasons why a person would want to switch to renewable energy, and, for a lot of people, it may just be the simple fact that they are helping the environment. But, there will be people who are only interested in the financial aspect – the fact that you can sell your excess energy back to the grid to make a profit. Still, the whatever the reason, the end result is still cleaner, environmentally friendly energy, so it’s all good.
What’s a “Grid”?
In this field, the term “selling back to the grid” is thrown around a lot. Don’t worry if you don’t know what a grid is, though, this article is here to help.
The grid is a collection of various piece of equipment for the purpose of moving electricity. Traditionally, the electricity would move out from a power plant into the grid, and then be distributed as needed to homes and businesses. The nature of the power distribution allows for the electricity to flow in any direction, however, and this is how you can sell electricity back to the grid. When you generate that energy, it is fed back into the grid, lightening the load for the power plant and other sources of electricity.
Typically, solar power has been the energy source of choice, with solar panels being relatively easily installed onto the roof of your house. These use photovoltaic cells to convert solar energy (sunlight) into electricity. There is also wind power, in which wind turns turbines, which turn electrical generators to create the electricity.
It can be a bit complex to sell electricity back to the grid, largely due to the fact that it’s not a physical thing that can be measured conventionally, but meters, much like the ones that measure how much you’ve used, can keep track of how much you contribute. You can also be issued a Renewable Energy Certificate. These declare ownership of the renewable energy that is in the grid.
PURPA (the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act) has mandated that a certain amount of electricity must be renewable, and renewable energy sold back to the grid counts toward this amount, so it is win-win for you and the utility companies.
How Much Are We Talking?
It is difficult to give an estimate of the amount you could make from generating your own energy, the amount could vary wildly based on a number of factors, such as the typical weather in your area, and the amount of electricity you yourself use. With that said, you could expect to make around three thousand dollars a year with a typical installation.
Research is essential, of course. There are a number of restrictions on the types of equipment that are allowed, but, fortunately, there are also professionals which can be hired to ensure everything is done properly, and any necessary research is carried out.
All being well, this article is your first step on the road generating your own renewable energy, making some extra money, and contributing to a cleaner, safer environment.