An example of off-grid apartment living in Manhattan
From Ars Technica:
tl;dr – An NYU professor living in an apartment goes off-grid for 8 months.
“Today, more than half the world lives in cities. I’ve always thought that living “off the grid” meant living “off in the woods,” where you can live simply and set up an alternate power source. But I’m a professional in Manhattan and need to earn a living…
…Even though corporate and policy choices matter more than those of any individual, I was still curious to see if I could make my own practices more sustainable. Personal responsibility matters to me, so polluting less motivates me; it’s a small thing, but one I can control, even if it’s important to make policy and political changes, too.
And I wanted to see how easy (or difficult) this might be for other city dwellers—both to help with sustainability and with utility bills.
In addition to the obvious benefits that reduced power consumption brings, there’s also the issue of grid resilience. If everyone could stand a few days without grid power, we could build grids that aren’t made for 99.9 percent uptime but for 95 percent or lower uptime (with dedicated power for essential services like hospitals, police, and subways). At some level of local resilience, we could power cities exclusively with solar and wind despite their intermittency, with much lower battery needs.”
There are some major caveats:
1) Heat (which he’s basically leaching from the building and neighbours)
2) This is a VERY minimalist setup that just won’t be practicable, especially for a family or someone with medical devices
However, I thought some folks here might find it kind of neat as a proof of concept or food for thought. The classic ‘cabin in the woods, plop down as many solar panels as you can’ setup is not really compatible with the way most people live, which is in more urban environments.