Driving on 100% Sunshine

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1Peder Norby’s interest in renewable energy goes back to his wind powered home in Denmark. Even then, Peder knew that someday he would drive an electric vehicle. In 2005, he and Julie built a 4,600 square house, overlooking the Agua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad. Peder wanted a cheaper form of transportation, powered by sunshine. Julie was more concerned that it be dependable, comfortable and fun to drive. They installed 21 solar panels on the roof and a year later bought their first EV. Like most first time EV owners, they assumed it would be necessary to hang on to their “gas car.” That proved to be true until 2009, when Peder bought a BMW Mini E. As a County of San Diego Planning Commissioner, he drives all over the county, but found the Mini E was taking care of all his needs. His gas car just sat in the garage. So he sold it.

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About Fracking

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1We are most likely going to hear a great deal more about Fracking. Aside from the fact California may soon have legislation as to how natural gas and oil companies can conduct their operations, there is currently an estimated 14 billion barrels of oil waiting in the Monterey Shale deposit (which stretches from Los Angeles to Northern California). Fracking is responsible for the resurgence of America’s natural gas industry. Though companies like San Diego Gas & Electric – and its corporate twin, South California Gas & Electric – do not appear to frack themselves, they do store, transport and distribute of natural gas. My own questions have distilled down to two:

1. If Fracking is essentially a transitional technology, bridging the gap until renewable technologies are ready to provide the world’s energy needs, is it doing the job?

2. In an interview with the BBC, Peter Voser of Royal Dutch Shell claimed that the technology is available and fracking can be done in a matter that is environmentally friendly. Mr Vosner called for increased regulation, but will this really eliminate the problems? Continue reading About Fracking

When will EV’s become a Serious Alternative?

The ECOreport looks at electric vehicles & America’s growing EV infrastructure:  When will EV’s become a serious alternative?

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1An increasing number of Americans now regard Electric Vehicles as their vehicle of choice. Though the total volume of EV sales is still limited, it tripled in 2012  and is expected to be 400,000 vehicles a year by 2020. That was before General Motors threw down the gauntlet, by proclaiming its’ goal to be manufacturing 500,000 EV’s a year by 2015. When will EV’s become a serious alternative?

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Surprises in the Race to Develop a Viable Green Crude

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1As the impetus of extreme weather events and scientific warnings gain momentum, it is becoming increasingly clearer that much that we once thought to be normal cannot last. We can ignore the challenges confronting us – and risk having to pay a much steeper fine in the not too distant future  – or look for the opportunities.  The quest for a viable “green crude”, which can assume the workload presently carried by fossil fuels, is part of that transition to a more environmentally friendly world. There have already been many surprises along the way.

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