There is a significant shift in the power generation market, and it is happening in new and existing homes across Ireland. Our homes are being built with the ability to generate not only enough electricity for own use at times of the year, but also to provide renewable generations at a local level, close to demand, without the inefficiency of losses associated with transmission lines.
There have been recent and significant gains in the cost of renewable technologies such as solar pv panels, enabling the cost-effective retrofit of renewable generation. This also applies to the new homes being built in Ireland with solar pv rooftop.
Concurrently, there has been a reduction in the cost of battery storage and this is a readily-available technology to enable more of the renewable power being used within the home, such as night time when solar pv may not be available.
This is making the off-grid or semi off-grid home a very real possibility. What architects, developers and government now need to think about is how we can apply the right type of standards to ensure homeowners can enjoy the generation of renewable energy, battery storage and associated smart technology /energy management solutions.
Archtiects need to consider the function of the technology so that the location of a battery in the home, coupled with the appropriate smart device, works with the form and function, no more than any other utility provision such as mains water isolation under the kitchen sink, the esb meter box on the side of the house, or the temperature sensor located in the hallway.