Alternative Energy: the New Normal

Alternative energy such as solar panels and windmills are no longer cutting edge.

Alternative energy such as solar panels and windmills are no longer cutting edge.

written by Sri Ram Kaa & Kira Raa

Industrialized countries enjoy a wide variety of technology and conveniences. From washing machines to microwaves, we have grown dependent upon our appliances. We depend upon petroleum-based transportation and consume tons of plastics each year.

Entire infrastructures, especially food production and delivery industries, are based upon petroleum products. A large portion of household electricity depends upon petroleum. Rising prices for food and transportation are a sign of the challenge that await developed societies as we deplete global fuel reserves. Like it or not, the future is demanding that we use alternative energy.

Guatemala offers its residents many hidden benefits. The climate offers the gift of releasing the need for heat or air conditioning, and the weather supports vibrant agriculture. Guatemala offers a natural congeniality; it is easier to connect with nature here as the windows are always open! It is the ideal environment to live buoyantly without dependence upon out-paced infrastructures.

When we moved here we knew it was time to take the plunge and live off grid. We found a true jewel in a tranquil area of Lake Atitlán and developed it with the goal of disturbing nothing. The property is remote and was without any ties to the grid; we had to go off grid completely. It was an easy decision. We were starting fresh and evaluated our choices from both a spiritual lifestyle and a business perspective.

Once a solar system is installed, a lifestyle choice has been made. Your investment means that you are free from monthly charges, power spikes and unexpected power outages. Living off grid has other amazing advantages including tranquility, independence and a greater sense of security.

There are many subtle benefits from this decision. Sustainability demands self-responsibility. By un-plugging from unconscious electrical use, one gains a respect from the electrical consumption required to sustain our modern life.

For example, building a solar system requires that one make a list of every electrical device you use in your home. From light bulbs to hair dryers, refrigerator to computers, you must identify the amount of power required for every electrical device you use. This use analysis helps you decide how many solar panels are needed.

By taking inventory of your power consumption, you stand face to face with the cost of your life and the values and choices that are significant to you. It demands that you become responsible for every purchase you make.

With a review of the electrical devices you use and an estimate of how many hours per week you use them, your needs are determined. From this review one can decide the number of solar panels, batteries and other devices needed to power your life. We found that the review helped us identify unneeded appliances. We no longer own a microwave or a TV. The internet provides enough information and distraction for anyone.

Living with the power of the sun we gave up nothing. We have all the technologies we enjoy, ample lighting, kitchen appliances, an elegant full-service spa and even a Jacuzzi!

Alternative energy such as solar panels and windmills are no longer cutting edge. The true cutting edge includes perpetual motion and zero-point energy devices, which will appear on the scene as society changes. We look forward to integrating them here in Guatemala.

Solar power depends upon sunlight, and Guatemala has plenty of sunny days. Even in the rainy season, it is seldom cloudy more than half a day. Prices for panels have been dropping every year, and the system we created in 2009 can be re-created today for around a third less…and we are powering five casitas, a community center and a spa! Your one-time investment prepays for many years of electrical use and eliminates all uncertainty for your future.

The impact of decades-long production and consumption can be seen throughout modern societies. The clock is ticking and it is time for a new normal. Are you ready to unplug from unconscious consumption? Perhaps it is time to get acquainted with alternative energy and while you are here in Guatemala drop by Lake Atitlán and say hello, we’d love to show you how comfortable off-grid living and vacationing can be.

Authors contact: ~ email:


  • Catherine Todd

    To: Authors contact: ~ email:

    What a wonderful, uplifting article! I have been dying to go “off-grid” and didn’t know how to begin here in Panjachel. Would love to see your community center and more. Where are you located?

    Also, please enter your listing in the free online which I have created as an online database to keep track of the many NGO’s, community services, eco-architecture, white and yellow pages. Your place sounds just like what we need to know more about! Thanks for sharing.

    Yours, Catherine Todd &
    ctodd1000 at gmail dot com

  • Good read and Great article.The Solar Power is considered as the new energy for us and it is green power for the environment. We should encourage more people using it in the life.

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