I started playing with solar energy, see a simple overview of the energy production and storage system in this video I made:
So far, I thought that solar energy was demanding – it needed specialized experts to install it and make it work, complicated technologies that I don’t understand, drilling into walls and so on. But you can start small – and just connect two cables.
If your livelihood depends on your laptop and smartphone functioning, it is a good idea to have a replacement for your power supply if the official distribution network accidentally fails.
More recently I was surprised at how brutally regulated the production and distribution of electricity is (at least in most European countries). Parallel electricity production and storage systems and networks are not so easily doable – in terms of red tape, it’s not difficult to do.
If you have a solar panel and excess energy (for example, stored in a battery), you cannot sell it to your neighbor. I think “microgrids” are the future – in the village, but also in cities, where every house can have a solar panel on the roof. When someone needs to start a power grinder, they can use the surplus from their neighbors, then return it back from their own panel or buy it for money (crypto, or pay-as-you-go micropayments over the lightning network…).
I think the future of energy is in such microgrids (ideally from renewable sources). Fortunately, I’m not alone who thinks so. If you want to play with it, you can start now.