There was a time when enthusiastically we spoke of electric cars powered by sunlight and wind energy. No, this wasn’t the sixties, this was 2007 when the old petroleum world looked doomed without any chance of a comeback. Solar panels weren’t, and still aren’t energy dense enough to recharge a battery pack practically and quickly enough to drive your electric car and wind power… well, that’s another story.
Alternative Energy By The Numbers. By 2010, we had more than 40,000 megawatts of land-based wind power, enough to serve more than 9.65 million homes and avoid the annual emissions of 83.5 million tons of carbon dioxide. Offshore wind farms promise even more electricity. Costs have already fallen down and continue to do so. The US Department of Energy feels the cost of land-based wind energy can come down another 18%, with the cost of offshore wind energy down by 63% by 2020. Finally, according to the latest numbers, wind energy accounts to almost 60% of our alternative energy.
Car Makers Weigh In. Ford’s new Advanced Electrification Center, see our previous article,
Ford banking on batteries, electrification, engineers and jobs
are also pushing wind energy at the heart of the matter. According to Ford’s, executive chairman William Clay Ford: “We believe a truly sustainable long-term solution will require a global transportation network that enables wireless communication among vehicles and infrastructure… bringing all modes of travel into a single network that links together public and personal transportation. Pedestrian walkways, bicycles, buses, airplanes, trains, automobiles – in our vision of the future everything would be fully integrated to save time, conserve resources and lower emissions.”
The World’s First Wind Powered Charging Station. Spain took the lead earlier last week with the world's first fully integrated wind-powered electric vehicle charging station unveiled in Barcelona. The Sanya Skypump is a 4 kW turbine developed by the New York's Urban Green Energy (UGE) and General Electric's (GE) WattStation charging system that gives electric car users clean, abundant, renewable energy to power their EVs.
The 42 ft, 13m wind tower is made of galvanized steel with a 77W LED light that puts out 6930 lumens half way up for security measures. On it, UGE's 4K wind turbine gives 4,000-watts of electricity.
GE’s WattStation, or Durastation in that part of the world is part of a renewed push to use our natural resources to power electric cars and plug-in hybrids, PHEV. It’s funny to think, that a few years ago a wind powered car was a matter of joke. Today many Americans already drive their electric cars powered by sunlight, it would make sense in windy areas to drive yours using local wind energy.