These days interest in renewable energy is high and naturally interest in renewable energy investment has risen dramatically. Typical of societies driven by rampant consumerism all manner of con-men are stepping up to the plate to fleece well meaning investors with what amounts to little more than gambling in a highly speculative area. It’s very difficult to pick winners in alternative energy technologies.
Here’s a low risk “renewable energy investment” idea with a difference…
Some years back my wife and I bought a piece of cheap real estate just outside the town boundary of a sleepy little western NSW town. We were interested in self-sufficient living and figured that 4 acre block would be perfect. The block was brown and bare except for an incredible crop of thistles as thick as the hairs on a cat’s back.
Family and friends joked, calling us “visionaries”. What they really meant was nobody in the entire galaxy could see the potential apart from us – and that was precisely the reason it was cheap. Turns out there was another reason why it was cheap…
When we got the quote to get the power on we were staggered – the simple connection wasn’t so simple – the quote had the tone of a ransom note! $34,000 for grid connection – take it or leave it. Had it been a bush block with power at some distance we would have been prepared but this particular block had mains power along 2 sides.
According to the local electricity authority our installation was the tipping point. We would foot the bill for the required transformer upgrade. To put it more accurately, we would have to provide the infrastructure required to provide ourselves with the service!
We made the decision to go alternative energy with a stand-alone combination solar wind power system. The wind generator was a converted comet 3 windmill chosen because we had a poor wind site – the high solidity ratio of conventional windmill style provided a high torque, low start-up-speed wind generator. 8 solar panels, 1300 Amp-hour batteries and inverter were added. We lived off-grid for 7 years with a system that powered all mod cons including 240 volt refrigeration. The alternative home power system cost around $20,000.
When we sold and moved at the end of the seven years, the cost for electricity connection had miraculously decreased from the original quote of $37,000 to a mere $1,300! We were able to move on then taking all our alternative energy equipment, having saved the $37,000 and capitalizing on the mere $1300 connection fee and achieving a good price for the property.
It’s a sound strategy: purchase a bush block currently unserviced by the grid and simply wait. Blocks unserviced by the grid are marked down in value and relatively cheap. There are dozens of areas within Australia and no doubt other countries where the idea is a sure fire winner.