Green Energy

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Green Energy

Andy just told me that he had spoken to a company that was planning to install charging stations in parking garages. I gave him a “chicken and the egg” comment, ie, what comes first, the car or the station. The conversation drifted off to green energy and he commented that the main problem with green energy (wind farms, thermal, solar, etc) was that the energy wasn’t where the people are. IE, if you have a wind farm on the plains of Texas, you needed to get the electricity to Dallas or Houston. And remember, he says, the electricity is used the moment it is made. You can’t bottle, store or ship it.

That had me thinking. If the energy source needs to be as close as it can to the user, then why not have those little nuclear generators that are about the size of the container (ship). They can sit on trucks and be moved to where they are needed. You could put one in each neighborhood (Wait for it, its coming). Each one can produce say 10 megawatts and power for 2000 families. Or in most cities, a small neighborhood. It could be parked on the street. There is one problem (here it comes).

Who would move it once a week for street cleaning? Can you imagine the parking tickets building up…But then, what enforcement officer would be hearty enough to actually approach the thing and put the ticket under the, under the what – reactor.

Actually, this seems to me to be the most sensible green energy solution. But it could even be smaller, and hence, safer. How about one that could fit in one’s basement. Output enough to power the house. It would probably be the size of a Fridge or maybe smaller. The power company shows up every five years to replace the energy source inside. HMMMM

I know there are hundreds of reasons why this won’t work, and the parking tickets aren’t even on the list. But it certainly makes as much sense as spending billions to build one in Arizona and stringing wire to LA.

JVH

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. Here’s another possibility. Build the solar on top of existing buildings or parking lots. The acreage of the built environment is more than adequate to construct a significant solar generation sector, and this wouldn’t require the lengthy transmission lines (which lose energy every foot). The I-15 warehouse corridor here in the Inland Empire has acres of rooftop available, and, in case anyone hasn’t noticed, it’s quite sunny out here.
    Another idea that I heard from someone recently is to construct solar over the miles of aqueduct that we have. You still would have a transmission problem on that one, I guess. Another idea could be to construct solar along the miles of freeway corridor.
    In other words, there is plenty of acreage available without resorting to far off places.

  2. Kelly Doyle of the PRosser Group sent in this comment:
    Collectively, you brought 3 seemingly unrelated ideas together; Increased local demand from electric vehicle charging, how to use and store green renewable energy as a transportation fuel supply and finding the necessary real estate to generate supply near the point of demand. The parking industry stands at the intersection of these ideas. Parking facilities with EV chargers, especially in dense urban areas will now become new “gas stations” and create load pockets that challenge the facility and local grid’s ability to safely supply the necessary power. Here is where JVH’s point of having the energy where it is needed meets Michael’s point that there is a lot of open real estate closer to the point of use. Parking structures and lots are locations where you have demand (EV charging) and real estate for renewable generation (solar, wind). The key to marrying this supply and demand is energy storage and the smart systems that tie into the grid.
    The Prosser Group is currently under contract with Con Edison and the DOE to develop the solutions mentioned above as part of a smart grid demonstration in NYC. We are designing the “green garage” of the future. If you’d like to learn more about the exciting opportunities and challenges facing the parking industry from the arrival of electric vehicles, please contact Kelly Doyle, VP of Business Development at kdoyle@theprossergroup.com. We believe the growth of the EV market shows potential for rapid expansion in the next 3-5 years. Now is the time to learn about this emerging marketplace so you can decide for yourself how to view the chicken and the egg.

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