I recently went to a local farm where all of their power is generated by electricity. The farm is a hybrid system, generating both electrical and natural gas supplies for their clients. As such, a typical house consists of two parts — the generator and the supply house.
The generator is on the farm that uses the natural gas and the supply house is what you see in homes around the country. The entire farm, including the supply house, goes out on a generator and goes to the home on a grid connection. The natural gas is pumped through a pipeline from the feed station to the home, and the generator in the feed station is left running 24/7. The natural gas is transported over large distances, usually by rail.
Natural gas isn’t cheap and the cost of transporting and supplying power to homes can be prohibitive. But it’s worth it. Even though there are plenty of new homes, more are being built than ever before to be serviced by the grid, including those powered by renewable energy sources.
The supply house does what it does best — provide the clean energy for homes in the home. A few years ago, the house was an old gas furnace with a large mercury valve. Now, it’s a solar heating system.
We live near a large natural gas processing plant, and all our gas is from the plant. It takes about a week to drive to the plant and take the gas. We drive about 45 minutes in a car to the station, fill our car up with gas, and drive away. We pay very good prices for gas.
Another part of the farm is where most of the power comes from. They generate both energy and water on the farm. The water being pumped out from the well on site is the power for their water system for their homes. The power to heat and cool the homes is the natural gas that runs the water pump.
There is no reason for us to go to a typical gas utility and have natural gas flowing to our homes when there is abundant natural gas in the area.
What is the difference in cost and energy between traditional gas and renewable power?
If you compare the prices of natural gas, wind and solar energy, you find that you pay a bit more than you may think to help lower your monthly bill.
For the past 4 or 5 years, utilities have been looking into how to increase the efficiency of the entire electric grid so that it’s not getting so expensive. These utilities, like
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