As previously noted len, you don't have to change the 'peak' time, you just have to store the renewable energy in a way that can be reused - and obviously look at the cradle to grave energy cost associated with that. In fact that may already have been the case with using brown coal for pumping water as previously mentioned. It may in fact be the lowest economical, social and environmental cost to capture and store that energy - maybe but doubt it, but then again neither of us know for sure it isn't. Have a read of ATA's (Alternative Technologies Association) submission on demand side pricing and usage from last year "ATA Submission to Power of Choice Draft Recommendations Supplementary Paper One Pricing Principles". That submission and similar work by them has shown that it is cheaper to use renewable to provide peak power than the infrastructure costs of approximately $11billion needed to supply power for only 100 hours per year (peak time total for year) You are correct, so get out there and educate people to make better choices - I have yet to see the man in the moon change his ways by simply being yelled at But also be aware that things are changing. Developers I know of do a lot of work to make sure there are social areas available for residents, common garden areas and water recycling along with some even looking at zero energy housing which leverages the PassivHaus concept. One even dedicates at least 25% of the development to zone 4-5 type areas. For him it's a win-win as he gets people to buy his houses that respect their surrounds, which keep prices stable and makes people that miss out of that development to pre-book for his next one. So don't despair, we are getting there slowly.