Sometimes there are odd thoughts that surge through Eli's brain. Recently he was reading about a concentrated solar power plant the first phase of which had opened in Morocco. Noor 1 will generate 160 Megwatt. When completed, the four phase project will generate almost 500 megawatts, of course, when the sun shines, which it pretty much does all day in Ourazazate.
What is particularly interesting about this plant is that the design can source power for three hours after the sun sets, because the working fluid (an oil mixture) can be used to store thermal energy in a reservoir, and the temperature in the reservoir is high enough to drive steam turbines for up to three hours after sunset. Moreover, substituting salts which change their phase as they cool can provide even more energy, or the same energy for a longer time.
The characteristic of solar and wind is that when you have sun and wind you have more power than you need. When you don't you have nothing. The general idea is at least for small installations like houses, to bridge with batteries.
A long time ago, on sci.environment Eli, the Weasel, MT and others engaged with John McCarthy of LISP. McCarthy was a cornucopian, and if you carefully went through his thoughts, they all came down to the price of energy being zero.
Couple super-efficient insulation, the heat storage of phase change salts, resistors to convert waste electricity generated by wind and solar to heat and then use photothermal generators to convert the heat back to electricity when needed. Of course, you could always use the heat directly to warm the house or cook the carrots. The best (e.g. lab) thermoelectric materials can have efficiencies of 10-20% and nanopatterning can improve the transfer efficiency. Just an idea.