Availability of various sources of energy does not change the fact that at the majority of off-grid locations they will be limited. That’s why it is important to properly allocate available resources to specific needs. The good news is that these days, thanks to technological progress, several alternatives to traditional “grid” are available at a reasonable cost.
Solar energy can be harvested by converting light (photons) into electrical energy in PV Solar Panels (where PV stands for Photo-Voltaic effect). For individual energy consumers (homeowners) this is by far the most popular source of renewable energy, especially suitable for off-grid locations. But the solar energy can also be converted directly to heat by absorbing the “red” portion of sunlight’s spectrum. Such systems (usually in the form of web of highly absorptive black pipes) are inexpensive and in sunny climate zones – excellent for heating the water.
Small Wind Turbine
Another viable source of renewable energy are small wind-turbines. Commonly, the wind-generated electrical energy is associated with big industrial wind farms generating Megawatts of power. Recently however, due to the growing interest in off grid living, you may also find small wind turbines designed for individual homes.
Micro Hydro Turbines
The micro hydro-turbines may be a valid solution when you are lucky to find location for your container house next to a mountain creek (but that can be even easier than get relevant permission from local authorities). The advantage of wind and hydro turbines is that the generation of electrical energy does not depend directly on the sun. It is often a 24/7 process, compared to solar energy which is limited by the length of the daylight and very much by the weather. Thanks to almost continuous generation of energy, the size of battery bank required by wind of hydro-based generators can be substantially reduced, and so the overall cost of the system.