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Solar, Battery, and Bitcoin?

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Jerry's Weekly Newsletter

March 14 · Issue #11 · View online

I'm Jerry, a software engineer, YouTuber, and blogger. Every weekend I write about some thoughts, life lessons, and interesting things I came by for the week. I'd love for you to join.


Hi friends,
Hope you’re feeling pretty energetic about this issue because I’ll be talking about energy. Haha, get it? Even if you thought that was lame, I hope I raised your energy levels with that joke. Okay fine, I’m done. Moving on.
Solar Panels & Home Battery
I’ve thought about this for a long time. Should I get solar panels and maybe even a home battery? The energy is clean, so I would be an environmentally conscious citizen of planet earth. That sure does feel good.
But the other side has to do with the rising cost of electricity. From the beginning of 2017 to the end of 2020, my base electricity cost went from $0.16 to $0.22, which is a 37.5% increase. 3 years! Those are some pretty big price hikes!
I had to really justify doing this since this is a pretty sizable upfront cash investment. It would take me 8-10 year’s worth of electricity to recover the initial cost. I needed to make sure this was long-term. Otherwise, the math just doesn’t make sense.
For funsies, here’s a before and after diagram of what my house’s electricity sources would look like:
Before Solar & Battery
Before Solar & Battery
After Solar & Battery
After Solar & Battery
Yeah, it would be much more complicated.
The battery serves two purposes. Firstly, it can backup energy and provide power in the case of an outage.
Secondly, the battery makes my electricity bill more efficient. Upon adding solar, most utility providers will change your electricity bill to a time-of-use billing program, which means electricity will be more expensive during certain parts of the day. In my case, my electricity during 4-9pm would cost 3x the amount outside that time. I can use the battery to provide power during those peak hours, which will save on my electricity bill.
Thirdly, (yes, there’s a hidden third) if I ever feel like permanently disconnecting myself from the grid and becoming completely self-reliant, I can always add more batteries such that the batteries can supply enough power while there’s no sun. Otherwise, I would still be relying on the grid for power when the sun is down.
Bitcoin...
is currently priced at $60,000. The high price might not make sense at first glance, but it’s not completely outlandish. Because bitcoin is a decentralized form of currency that is unregulated by any government, its price tends to rise in response during times of crisis or when people start losing faith in government.
And in recent times, we’ve been seeing a lot of that. COVID-19 is an unprecedented global pandemic, which counts as a crisis. The increasingly bipolar state of US politics leads around half the country to distrust the other half, which counts as lost faith in government.
Plus, with uncertainty in the economy, that only fuels the greater need for alternative forms of holding value.
Now, it’s obviously hard to tell what’s going to happen in the future since no one can consistently accurately predict the future.
I could use the solar energy to mine bitcoin and make a nice little profit (passive income!), but that’s only assuming bitcoin remains relevant. Otherwise, it would be a bust.
I haven’t decided on this yet, but if I do want to mine bitcoin, my house would now look like this:
Bitcoin Mining With Solar & Battery
Bitcoin Mining With Solar & Battery
I’ve been thinking about this way too much lately. But I’m curious to know what you think. Do you think it’s worthwhile to get solar panels and possibly a home battery? What about mining bitcoin with that energy? Am I crazy?
Okay, that’s all for this issue. See you next week!
Best,
Jerry
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