Weekly Renewable Energy & Technology News Brief – November 29th 2013 scire quod sciendum –“Knowledge which is worth having”.
WHAT MADE THE NEWS THIS WEEK – NOVEMBER 29th 2013
There has been plenty of news this week on the renewable energy front, mainly around continued growth in solar, electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Major manufacturers such as Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, BMW, Ford and GM all announced that they will have hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in mass production within the next few years, with some coming out as soon as late 2014.
Electric vehicles from BMW, Renault and Fiat are selling out before they can be produced and Tesla model S continues to have long wait times between order and delivery due to its continued poularity, in spite of the high price tag. An interesting fact is that recent research has shown that only 22% of consumers have even heard of the Tesla model S. Imagine how well they will sell when Elon Musk brings out a sub $50,000 model in the next year or so as promised,
Next comes the e-volo VC200 18 electric motor 2 person helicopter, which has been flown and shown to the press and is ready to go into production. It features a circular ring structure on top of the body, with 18 individually powered electric propellers spread around the ring. It seems very stable and easy to fly so better head on over and pick up your own personal mini-copter.
If that is not enough you can also now get your own personal electric mini-sub, called the Platypus. This is essentially an electric powered trimaran with a submersible center section. Get to where you want to explore, pop on your dive gear then lower the center section. The divers sit astride the center module below water, while the two outrider pontoons stay above water and keep the whole thing afloat.
Solar growth also exploded – again – and renewable energy provided 99% of ALL new energy production growth in the US for the month. If some people still don’t get it, renewable energy sources will replace fossil fuel based electricity production much sooner than some think. Getting rid of gasoline powered transportation entirely might take a little more time. Shell Oil have publicly forecast that gasoline powered transportation could be all gone by 2070 but we suspect that with the continuing rapid scientific advances in battery technology, fuel cell technology and production and distribution of both a hydrogen refueling network and more public supercharging electric power facilities (similar to the Tesla Supercharging stations) then electrics, plug ins and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will predominate by much earlier than 2050.
The US just recorded it’s 150,000+ plug in electric vehicle recently – after only reaching 100,000 earlier this year in May – so the rate of growth of these continues exponentially.
Many states and cities throughout the US also had wins on the public renewable energy front – a Solar Fee was defeated in Georgia and in Boulder, Colorado Measure 310 (sponsored by energy giant Xcel, to block public ownership of cheap, clean, renewable energy) was struck down by the voters. Some more wins for the good guys.
Nissan showed that autonomous cars cannot even kill politicians. They loaded the Japanese Prime Minister into the fully autonomous Nissan Leaf and sent him out on the highway. Fortunately he made it back alive, and autonomous vehicles took another step forwards. Sort of like Yuri Gargarin’s first manned space flight, but with higher pay for the pilot.
Well that just about wraps it up for another week. All the entries from our Energy Blog this week are available on our Blog page under “Sitemap”.