The economy is tanking, the Gulf is full of oil, and the U.S. is experiencing record heat waves. With gas and food prices set to spike in the next few years, many professionals are starting to eye the exit door. Now a growing online community of off-gridders is here to help them.

Aussie author Nick Rosen became fascinated by America's "off-gridders" and came to the U.S. to document the phenomenon and the characters that make up this mottly movement. From crazy old conspiracy theorists to hip young professionals, the book investigates the many types of people and their motivations for leaving the urban core and getting away from it all.

Renewable technology is at the very core of the off-grid movement, in particular solar PV power. The modular system of panels allows people to build up their solar investment over time. Coupled with the abundance of available land with awesome solar access, the panels could result in a full-fledged migration out of suburbia, past rural communities, and into the great American wilderness. Here's one young woman who made the leap:

The site now offers a Google map called LandBuddy that helps people who are interested in going off-the-grid with people who are already there. And the group has a very entertaining YouTube channel with clips from interviews Rosen has done across America ... seems like a great documentary film in the making.
A social network for 'off-gridders'
Off-grid guru offers a social network and news source for people looking to drop out of the grind and power up with solar.