Utilities should look for ways to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles, including working to increase public charging infrastructure, and recognize the opportunities for increased revenue through electricity sales to this new market.
Some people within utilities are spreading fear about lost revenues due to the uptake of distributed renewable energy generation and decreased consumption through energy efficiency improvements. They are wasting their time decrying the inevitable, and more importantly, they are missing the opportunity right in front of them.
In an article here by Elias Hinkley, the point was made that by encouraging conversion of our transportation fleet from of liquid fuel vehicles to electric vehicles, there is a huge untapped opportunity awaiting electrical utilities.
The benefits are many:
- the utilities can maintain revenue growth despite the adoption of distributed renewable energy and energy efficiency
- electricity can be made locally thereby benefitting the local economy rather than oil company tyrants
- cars would be cleaner, our cities and streets more pleasant for people who choose to breathe air
- globally we would be contributing less carbon into the atmosphere
Here at Power Trip Energy, in addition to our 10 kw of pv arrays, we have two Level II fast chargers available to the public for free. We see old friends and meet new folks every day who regularly use the solar-generated electricity we choose to give away. It is fun to consider the amount of miles driven without these folks needing to buy gasoline.
We have been a destination for many tourists from out of the area despite the fact that our shop is not in the most convenient or desirable location for tourists. The trnsit stop is only 1/4 mile walk from here, and we are right on the Larry Scott Trail into town. The Broken Spoke bike shop will drop off a rental bike for people who make pre-arrangements before their visit.
In Jefferson County, the citizenry has already demonstrated leadership through the high per capita adoption of electric vehicles and solar pv. The question now is whether we will help our leaders see the benefits of following our example, or will we allow our leaders to retain old-school thinking and impede our progress.