Este verano he dado el salto a alquilar coche eléctrico (un BMW i3) para las vacaciones, y aquí cuento el resultado;
Cuánto más me ha costado?
100 € más de precio de alquiler para una semana. De entrada cuesta pagarlo, pero bueno… (especialmente cuando tienes una tarifa buena como la que tiene negociada mi empresa y puedo disfrutar para viajes personales…)
Ha valido la pena?
Sí, por la experiencia de conducción, la sensación de sostenibilidad, pero también económicamente;
Estos 100€ me habrían permitido rodar aprox 1000 km con la alternativa de combustible (Renault Captur).
No he rodado tanto, pero casi, porque el trayecto Aeropuerto de Palma-Costa de los Pinos lo he hecho 3 veces, además de unos 30 km diarios. La electricidad de carga me ha salido gratis porque estaba incluida en la casa de alquiler y en la carga rápida que hice 2 veces.
Cargando en Cas Tresorer donde sólo funcionaba el molino multipala reconvertido, por lo que cargaba eólica 😉 –> (como proponen desde Amics dels Molins)
Since April this year, the new 2 MW crowdfunded solar park in Spain from Som Energía has been producing power. It is unique because it has no subsidies and because the energy is sold to the retail cooperative, so the price is supplied at cost* to the investors.
Image Shared by Som Energía from Alcolea plan
I’m proud of having participated in this project. It’s sustainable, doesn’t need subsidies and also a good investment. The funding will be returned with no interest, but the benefit is through the reduced energy costs in the retail monthly invoice.
Living in a flat with little space for solar panels, I find it very difficult and inefficient to install one or a couple of self-consumption solar panels. So this is a natural option, to team-up with other people to own together renewable power generation. And it avoids facing the so-called tax on the sun (discussed some time ago here).
Of course there are other investment options like Yieldcos (I have shares from Saeta Yield myself). Or simply buying 100% renewable electricity from the retailer. But helping build this small project with a cooperative feels closer to owning the plant. And power generation not only owned by big corporations is also positive, as has been the case in Germany. We can say it’s a good example of the sharing economy, too…
What other options do you see to participate as an individual in the energy transition?
*Actual calculation is 36 €/MWh, which means 6 €/MWh below the market before taxes and network charges.
Collaborative economy, also called the sharing economy, is growing, and it can be understood as a synonym for resource efficiency and increased asset utilization. It also allows the energy transition. How? An example; car sharing, offers increased asset utilization of the vehicles and fosters the energy transition with more sustainable mobility.
In the energy sector, and in the case of utilities, this is not very common, but let’s try to look at some trends;
For example, grid interconnections, as proposed with the EU Energy Union policy, is part of a more collaborative economy. It means the sharing of power capacity and available renewable resources in an extended market. Of course it is not peer-to-peer, but instead “grid-to-grid”. Interconnections improve asset utilization (of the most competitive assets at least, as well as avoiding investments in peaking capacity) and also help toward the energy transition as abundant renewable power can be exchanged between countries.
Image by Gabriel Schouten de Jel on freeimages.com
For Spain, with high generation overcapacity, to increase interconnections is key to making use of existing power capacity and avoiding wind spilling, for example.
However, there is another example of improved asset utilization where there is a conflict with the energy transition…
Tourism is one of the main contributors to Spain’s prosperity, as it represents more than 10% of GDP. The attractiveness of the country internationally as a tourism destination is key, as it is to have a well designed strategy. In 2012, the ministry approved the “National and Integrated Tourism Plan” to 2015, with the goal of improving the sector.
The Plan does not discuss all categories of tourism, and where the country should focus, but, for example, proposes increasing experiential tourism as a diversification from the traditional sun&beach. Additionally, there is a plan to put in value the cultural, natural and eno-gastronomical resources of the country and complementing the offering with preventive health services for aging European customers.
Image courtesy of alvarjuan from freeimages.com
Tourism categories there are many; sun&beach, cultural, MICE, urban, rural, gastronomic, nature, etc. There is one related to technology and energy that, although small, I think should be promoted: technology-energy tourism (TET). Why?
One of the concerns of utility scale solar plants is the land use. While wind power plants only employ aprox. 1% of the agricultural land where they are installed, a solar photovoltaic power plant normally hinders other uses for almost 100% of the power plant’s surface.
Exceptions can be found, of course, as with 2-axis single post trackers, that can be designed to allow cattle land use, as a reference with CPV in California for cows. The use of sheep under a solar field, is also a solution for maintaining the land under the panels, as in Puerto Errado, Spain (picture from Novatec Solar)
Actually,the higher the structure the bigger the cost, so it has to compensate with the land usage increase. Other solutions for crop farming (not cattle) would be, for example, moveable solar plants that cover only fallow land with wheeled structures.
But what, as far as I know, has not been developped enough, is Sigue leyendo →
Solar panel manufacturing has benefited from economies of scale in the race to lower the costs, following an impressive learning curve (see BNEF curve). But will the future bring the cheapest solar panels, being printed where needed from a simple and cheap device?
This is already happening in manufacturing, as described brilliantly by Chris Anderson in Makers. With technology already available for printing solar cells on paper, innovation improving efficiency and durability, is set to revolutionize solar panel manufacturing. Centralized production would be complemented by local micro-manufacturing.
Solar photovoltaics is today the best example/solution for democratization of power generation, as it allows simple and scalable self-consumption. Democratizing also the manufacturing of the panel would take it a step further, boosting solar generation capacity well above the actual double digit yearly growth.