As I said before, I would like to go into a little more detail about the home that my grandfather built. While he was building the domes, he used batteries (that were powered by a generator) as a source of electricity. As the building process was nearing completion, he bought solar panels in California. To understand how to use his purchase, my grandfather had an electrician who was familiar with solar panels come out to the island and teach him what to do with them. They installed the panels and then connected them to large batteries in the "control room" that was under one of the domes; the batteries were connected to a converter that was 12V power (now, you could buy a converter for regular power). They shopped all over the country for the appliances; the light bulbs actually came from a yacht supply company.
I find this all incredibly interesting. Obviously I'm biased because he was my grandfather, but I don't think many would argue that this was a pretty significant project for its time. Keep in mind that the Dome Home was completed in the early 1980's. So why does it sound so innovative? Why aren't these types of structures more commonplace? Granted, more and more places are beginning to use solar energy; I am not at all suggesting that my grandfather was the only one to do this. But, I know that I rarely see solar energy being utilized in restaurants, hotels, etc. I think this should change. If the technology was available in the eighties, it is definitely available now, in addition to many new things. So, let's make use of it!
Here are some more pictures of the Dome Home if you're interested: