Weeks like the one we’ve just had are an off-gridder’s nightmare. After some lovely cold autumnal days, it is now seven days since we saw anything approaching sunshine, and output from our solar PV is negligible, to put it kindly. It is weather like this that leads to people saying that renewables don’t work in Ireland, especially the North. We’d got very blase about having lots of power, and a couple of dark days isn’t unusual, so it was probably day three before we began to be very careful about what we are using. If we were reliant on solar alone, the freezer would have been turned off on Wednesday, giving us another ten days breathing space.

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But we’re not. It hasn’t been madly windy, at least not until today, but even just a little work from the wind turbine has filled in the gaps and charged the batteries overnight. If it stays stormy we might even get some washing done today. We are back into our comfort zone of 80 percent charged, which is a relief, though I do wonder when we might see the sun again. ┬áThis week has really emphasized just how important it is to have a mix of power generation, especially in our climate. Building resilience is the key to succeeding at this game.

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