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The first time I have stuck my nose in this forum, but the subject caught my eye. Over a large part of my career, I have done a lot of work related to fossil fuel plants (and a bit of nuclear, too.) I have studied and messed around with a lot of do-it-yourself power ideas over the years.

What do I use for stand-by power? I use a 5.5 kW alternator with a gasoline powered Tecumseh. Cheapest and most practical.

Steam? I have a lot of wood on my land. Some people may visualize a cozy little fireplace fire. Nope. It takes a lot of fire to make any practical amount of horsepower. Without an automated feed system and a coal barge or cord wood truck to supply it - you would die of exhaustion stoking the firebox. You could fire it with oil but you would be better of buying gasoline (or diesel) for a conventional internal combustion set-up.

Windmills? Those have been discussed in the previous posts. Some practicality in some places.

Solar? Pretty well discussed already. What if your power is out for a week and it stays cloudy? Oh, those storage batteries won't last a lifetime, either. Like the windmills, some practicality in some places.

Water power? This is actually a really practical idea. Of course, it's only practical if you have a large enough stream with enough fall. I might be able to power a doll house with the stream I have on my land!

Anyhow, this is not meant to be a rant - I've just studied most of the alternative power ideas over the last 30 - 35 years and often discuss these points with the far left "green" people. We are in for real energy challenges in the future. Oh, again, just go to Home Depot and buy a generator!
 
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