If you own an electric vehicle and you have solar panels on your house, you can drive around powered entirely by renewable energy. But what can EV owners who don’t have solar on their homes do to make sure they’re as green as can be? Mike Tinskey and his colleagues at Ford Motor Co. are trying to tackle that problem head on. Ford’s promising new C-Max Solar Energi Concept car has solar panels built right into the roof.
Today on Sea Change Radio host Alex Wise talks with Tinskey about how magnification technology borrowed from 19th Century lighthouses could be a key to making solar cars a practical reality, how Ford culture has changed in the last decade to embrace efficiency and ecological innovation, as well as the ins and outs of Flex Fuel technology.
The signs of solar power becoming a truly self-sustaining industry are manifold: Solar manufacturing costs fell by between 70 and 80 per cent from 2007 to 2012 while at the same time, the efficiency rates of solar panels continue to improve. But this success has also led to pushback from many of our nation’s utilities.
This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak again to the Executive Director of Vote Solar, Adam Browning, to discuss some of the policies that have helped the solar explosion, how public utilities are reacting to the success of solar in very different ways, and what steps are being taken to start getting solar to the millions of Americans who are not homeowners.
In 1880, Thomas Edison patented a system for the distribution of electricity that within 2 years was providing power through a grid to parts of lower Manhattan. How far have we come since then? According to this week’s guests, not far enough. This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise first talks to sustainability consultant Ted Howes who explains the direction utility companies should be taking to work smarter, not harder, and why this smart grid technology is meeting with some resistance. Then we hear from Danny Kennedy, the founder of Sungevity, one of the solar companies whose “Glo-bama” campaign successfully advocated for the re-installation of solar panels on the White House. He talks about the powerful statement that is made when a US president decides to install solar, or, in the case of Ronald Reagan, reject it.