renewable energy, solar wind hydro feasibility development
ACCESS Renewable Energy Ltd.
© WEC Ltd; ACCESS Renewable Energy Ltd. 2006 - 2017.  Registered Trade name: ACCESS Renewables.

Blog

Come forth into the light of things, let nature be

your teacher. (William Worsworth 1770 -1850)

Why are people changing to EVs now? By Robin Wentzel 16 November 2016 The era of the Electric Vehicles (EVs) truly seems to have arrived. Why are so many people starting to change to EVs now? Why not before? Why are many still not considering changing? The reasons for most people seem to come down to two key factors.   First, up until recently, the high price, range capabilities of EVs (at least for affordable ones) and inadequate charging infrastructure, were just too limiting. People want a vehicle that they can use like a conventional gas powered vehicle: go to work, go shopping, but also take a road trip, explore the outdoors, go away for the weekend, etc. I  know I want a vehicle that can do all of that, and there are now more and more EVs coming onto the market that offer just that!   OK, so how about the charging infrastructure?  The infrastructure development is still lagging behind, but slowly getting there. As a result of the EV market gaining momentum, we are now seeing advancements to the charging (and in particular fast charging) infrastructure in many countries, counties, states and provinces, including here in B.C., Canada. There are some challenges, however. As the EV market grows, it will be crucial to ensure the charging network is implemented in a way to avoid hard-to-manage stress on the electricity distribution network, use intelligent charging systems, incorporate renewables, minimize environmental impacts, and ultimately provide customers with an array of charging options. In short, EVs have triggered a complete re-think of our electricity distribution system. The integration of distributed energy resources, such as advanced renewable technologies and storage in our existing electricity grid, is, as I see it, part of the smart solution. And it is being done in many places. A good example is the British Columbia Institute of Technology's (BCIT) Energy OASIS project - it is a microgrid system that collects solar energy through photovoltaic panels, converts it into electrical energy, distributes the power to EV charging stations and stores excess energy in lithium-ion battery banks. A case of energy management becoming hyper- local. As with any disruptive technology, the new EV infrastructure required faces both challenges and opportunities. Take my own community of Squamish, B.C. where we have several public charging stations (including a fast charge station), and one of the fastest growing communities on the Canadian West Coast. How can we ensure grid stability, implement a cost-effective and sustainable charging infrastructure for the growing number of EVs (which will soon include trucks and buses), and effectively manage it to our advantage? To set the right framework in place that will benefit the community at large requires a major shift in thinking and doing. The utilities are not going to do it for us, we have to take the incentive ourselves. Living in Squamish I am pretty optimistic we can rise to this new challenge. We have abundant local renewable energy sources, a strong community bond with engaged citizens, and a progressive municipality, council and leadership! I, for one, am excited to be part of- and involved in, this transition to a new way of generating, storing, using and managing electricity in our lives. How about you? Will you help your community succeed? What’s the second reason for getting an EV?  In short, many people, including myself, are absolutely fed-up with getting gouged every time they have to pay an exorbitant price for gas when we know the price is way below US$50/barrel! Never underestimate the power of aversion! More on how oil companies are fuelling the shift to EVs and to renewables in another blog. The Magic Mangrove tree  - Nature’s own desalination system By Robin Wentzel 8 November 2016 Mangroves are amazing plants. They have advanced root systems with self-cleaning membranes designed to screen and filter saltwater.  They have trunks and stems with compartments that continue to filter water, trap unwanted particles in the bark, but allows water to travel up against gravity.  They have leafs that form a strong enough vacuum to suck-up water from the roots, store excess salt, and release fresh water as vapour! And it is all powered by the sun! How mangroves work have been fascinating scientists for decades. Today there are numerous dedicated researchers all working on uncovering the secrets of mangroves, with various degrees of success. How can we replicate the root membrane to filter so much of the salt out, yet require so little energy to allow water through? How can we copy the plant’s energy system, generated by simple photosynthesis?  How do you pump/suck water with so little energy? The more we learn, the more questions we have! As we enter a new era of environmental consciousness, it is almost as if the mangrove tree have laid down the gauntlet. Here it is, a fresh water solution for all to see, but none to master! Here’s to encouragement for all those in the quest to unlock the secrets of the magic mangrove tree!
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Robin Wentzel renewable energy environmental consultant Mangrove plants
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Robin Wentzel renewable energy environmental consultant BCIT microgrid
microgrid, remote community, solar wind hydro feasibility site investigation project development
ACCESS Renewable Energy Ltd.
© WEC Ltd; ACCESS Renewable Energy Ltd. 2016.  Registered Trade name: ACCESS Renewables.

Blog

Come forth into the light of

things, let nature be your

teacher. (William Worsworth 1770 -1850)

Why are people changing to EVs now? By Robin Wentzel 16 November 2016 The era of the Electric Vehicles (EVs) truly seems to have arrived. Why are so many people starting to change to EVs now? Why not before? Why are many still not considering changing? The reasons for most people seem to come down to two key factors.   First, up until recently, the high price, range capabilities of EVs (at least for affordable ones) and inadequate charging infrastructure, were just too limiting. People want a vehicle that they can use like a conventional gas powered vehicle: go to work, go shopping, but also take a road trip, explore the outdoors, go away for the weekend, etc. I  know I want a vehicle that can do all of that, and there are now more and more EVs coming onto the market that offer just that!   OK, so how about the charging infrastructure?  The infrastructure development is still lagging behind, but slowly getting there. As a result of the EV market gaining momentum, we are now seeing advancements to the charging (and in particular fast charging) infrastructure in many countries, counties, states and provinces, including here in B.C., Canada. There are some challenges, however. As the EV market grows, it will be crucial to ensure the charging network is implemented in a way to avoid hard-to-manage stress on the electricity distribution network, use intelligent charging systems, incorporate renewables, minimize environmental impacts, and ultimately provide customers with an array of charging options. In short, EVs have triggered a complete re-think of our electricity distribution system. The integration of distributed energy resources, such as advanced renewable technologies and storage in our existing electricity grid, is, as I see it, part of the smart solution. And it is being done in many places. A good example is the British Columbia Institute of Technology's (BCIT) Energy OASIS project - it is a microgrid system that collects solar energy through photovoltaic panels, converts it into electrical energy, distributes the power to EV charging stations and stores excess energy in lithium-ion battery banks. A case of energy management becoming hyper-local. As with any disruptive technology, the new EV infrastructure required faces both challenges and opportunities. Take my own community of Squamish, B.C. where we have several public charging stations (including a fast charge station), and one of the fastest growing communities on the Canadian West Coast. How can we ensure grid stability, implement a cost-effective and sustainable charging infrastructure for the growing number of EVs (which will soon include trucks and buses), and effectively manage it to our advantage? To set the right framework in place that will benefit the community at large requires a major shift in thinking and doing. The utilities are not going to do it for us, we have to take the incentive ourselves. Living in Squamish I am pretty optimistic we can rise to this new challenge. We have abundant local renewable energy sources, a strong community bond with engaged citizens, and a progressive municipality, council and leadership! I, for one, am excited to be part of- and involved in, this transition to a new way of generating, storing, using and managing electricity in our lives. How about you? Will you help your community succeed? What’s the second reason for getting an EV?  In short, many people, including myself, are absolutely fed-up with getting gouged every time they have to pay an exorbitant price for gas when we know the price is way below US$50/barrel! Never underestimate the power of aversion! More on how oil companies are fuelling the shift to EVs and to renewables in another blog. The Magic Mangrove tree  - Nature’s own desalination system By Robin Wentzel 8 November 2016 Mangroves are amazing plants. They have advanced root systems with self-cleaning membranes designed to screen and filter saltwater.  They have trunks and stems with compartments that continue to filter water, trap unwanted particles in the bark, but allows water to travel up against gravity.  They have leafs that form a strong enough vacuum to suck-up water from the roots, store excess salt, and release fresh water as vapour! And it is all powered by the sun! How mangroves work have been fascinating scientists for decades. Today there are numerous dedicated researchers all working on uncovering the secrets of mangroves, with various degrees of success. How can we replicate the root membrane to filter so much of the salt out, yet require so little energy to allow water through? How can we copy the plant’s energy system, generated by simple photosynthesis?  How do you pump/suck water with so little energy? The more we learn, the more questions we have! As we enter a new era of environmental consciousness, it is almost as if the mangrove tree have laid down the gauntlet. Here it is, a fresh water solution for all to see, but none to master! Here’s to encouragement for all those in the quest to unlock the secrets of the magic mangrove tree!
Robin Wentzel renewable energy environmental consultant Robin Wentzel renewable energy environmental consultant BCIT microgrid Mangrove plants
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