Blog archive
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
"Working with Passion" By Heather Johnson

In college, I started to become involved in the Minneapolis music scene and going to local concerts. I not only made friends in the industry but also started to see how it worked. The planning, the marketing, the contracts; concerts weren’t something that just “happened” there was a lot of work involved to get the band on stage and people in the door. I reached out to a local festival coordinator and learned he ran it all for some local bands: booking, marketing, touring, and music festival coordination. I told him about my PR degree, a previous internship doing Event Marketing at an aquarium in the Mall of America, and my passion for music. Initially he was hesitant, not wanting to give away tricks of the trade to someone that may not put in the work, but he needed the help so he gave me a chance. He found out quickly that it was worth his time, and mine.

James showed me how to communicate and work with venders, bands, venue owners, volunteers and staff, negotiate contracts, work with insurance companies and much more. Within six months, I was coordinating the venders at some of the smaller music festivals by myself and the larger festivals I was his assistant. Our clients were happy and so were we.

By fall, the festivals ended and I was back to managing in retail again. My favorite part of the job was helping develop team members through mock interviews and cross training in new departments. I often trained new store managers before they went to their new stores; I loved the “teach and train” part of the job but knew that a career that had event coordination in it was in my future.

As the Energy Resources Events Operations Manager, I am working with staff in the field, developing and supporting the team, the part I enjoyed the most working in retail. Then in the office, I am helping coordinate the planning and logistics at events, which I learned to love working in the music industry.

The small company and hard working team have great communication and flexibility but room to grow and space for me to grow with it. Doing education outreach for clients to help their customers save money and do something better for the environment is something I can stand behind proudly as well. I couldn’t be happier working for Energy Resources and am grateful to come to work everyday.

Thursday, June 1, 2017
Myths About Residential Solar Panels

Renewable energy is often a new topic for homeowners, making it difficult to wrap their minds around energy initiatives such as solar and wind power. This newness can be the cause of many misunderstandings and myths for homeowners whose neighbors, businesses, or residences have solar panels.

Myth 1: Solar is expensive.

A lot of people think solar panels are only for people with disposable income. This is a myth; in fact just the opposite is true. Most homeowners who choose to install solar panels do so because it helps reduce their overall energy bill. Yes, entering into solar power for your home can be costly, but utility programs can provide rebates for homeowners willing to install solar power. If you live in state like Colorado that loves clean energy, you may be in luck when installing your solar panels. Rebates and incentives from energy companies can allow for the panels to pay for themselves completely in as little as 4 years. According to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), the cost of solar panel systems has dropped 8% each year in Colorado, making them more affordable and opening doors to help the economy grow.

Myth 2: I pay to subsidize others’ solar panel use.

Another myth that exists is the belief that ratepayers who do not have solar panels are subsidizing those ratepayers who do have solar panels installed on their homes. Each homeowner is responsible for their individual direct install costs; in some areas rebates from utility companies may be available.  Once a homeowner has installed a solar system, it will generate electricity. Excess solar power generated beyond a homeowner’s usage will be contributed to the regional grid in which the home sites.  Called net metering, this process allows for excess energy generated from one residents’ solar panels to be fed back into the grid system, eventually allowing for less coal use and more solar energy generated electricity. When solar panels create more energy than a home needs, the energy meter will spin back and the utility company will credit the ratepayer for that excess power.

At night or on overcast days, residents with solar power will use their already- generated solar power. In a state like Colorado with over 300 days of sunshine, solar credits and net metering will play into favor of anyone who uses the power grid (aka everyone).

Myth 3: Solar has not benefited the economy.

Today, there are over 280 solar companies in Colorado, employing 4,000 people and producing enough solar energy to power 76,000 homes. This benefits all ratepayers (thanks, neighbors with solar panels!) With over 398 Megawatts of solar energy, Colorado ranks 8th in the nation for solar capacity. Retailers such as IKEA in Lonetree, CO have installed panels on their roof making them one of the largest corporate solar panel systems in the state, generating 1120 kW of solar energy.

All myths aside, solar panels have become an effective, equitable way to manage residential energy costs while providing benefits for the economy through increased employment opportunities

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Not just Hot Air - Colorado: in the Top 10 in Wind

The American Wind Energy Association released its U.S. Wind Industry Second Quarter 2014 Market Report at the end of the Summer and, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, a state known for its extensive oil and gas development – Texas – heads the list.  Not surprising however is Colorado marking the 10th spot on the list.

Colorado’s recent progress on wind is the direct result of Colorado’s strong renewable energy standard and federal incentives for wind power.

#10. Colorado (2,332 MW)

Colorado is up-and-coming in the wind power market. The state has an aggressive renewable energy portfolio and requires that 30 percent of the state’s electricity has to come from renewable energy by 2020. In 2013, wind power accounted for 13.8 percent of electricity generated in the state. 

Wind energy is now providing 6,045,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity in Colorado, which amounts to be 11 percent of the state’s electricity. If state and federal officials commit to continued progress, Colorado could displace the carbon pollution equivalent of more than 584,467 passenger vehicles, and save enough water to meet the annual needs of nearly 32,432 people.

Communities and landowners benefit from wind power directly too. By hosting turbines on their land, Colorado farmers, ranchers and other landowners receive upwards of $7.5 million a year in land lease payments from wind projects. Communities gain from a broader tax base, and wind farms pay out millions a year, helping to pay for roads, schools, and other critical public projects. All in all, Colorado wind power represents a capital investment of over $4.3 billion to date.

Across the country, utilities are successfully integrating wind power into their systems, passing the benefits onto consumers. For a brief time in May of last year, wind power energized over 60 percent of  Colorado, showcasing wind power’s ability to contribute in a significant way to the grid. Today, Colorado wind supplies enough electricity to light the equivalent of more than 870,000 homes, and that number is set to keep growing.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015
3 Reasons Why Colorado Should Increase Its Renewable Energy Standard – Not Roll It Back

On March 2 the Colorado House of Representatives voted against Senate Bill 44, which proposes a rollback of Colorado’s renewable energy standard for the upcoming years. This vote effectively killed Senate Bill 44 for the 2015 legislation period. This can be considered a huge defeat against pro fossil fuel companies that are determined to clean out a renewable energy option in Colorado.

If you have been following Senate Bill 44 you may have noticed that on February 5 Senate Republicans passed the bill to cut back on Colorado’s renewable energy standard or RES . The RES has helped make Colorado one of the top ten leader’s in renewable energy on a national level. The RES has provided Colorado with some great economic and environmental benefits.  The way the current renewable energy standard works is very beneficial. It requires investor owned utilities to supply 30% of their electricity from renewables by the year 2020. The current roll back proposal sets the standards for investor owned utilities to 15% by 2020.

The rollback would have been detrimental to Colorado’s renewable energy progress. Here are some reasons why increasing the RES would be a greater benefit to Colorado:

  1. Renewable energy is good for Colorado’s economy.

     

    Colorado hosts the world’s leading renewable energy research facility, The National Renewable Energy Laboratory with 1,721 full time employees.

     

    SOLAR:  Colorado’s RES has been successful at creating jobs in many Colorado communities. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) ranks Colorado 10th for solar energy investments and 11th for solar energy employment.  There are more than 360 solar companies at work throughout Colorado employing 3,600 people in 2013 and 4,200 workers in the solar industry in 2014.  In 2013 there was $233 million invested into install for homes, businesses and utilities in Colorado. A cutback would only waste some of that investment instead of helping it grow.

     

    WIND: According to the American Wind Energy Association there has been an investment in over 22 wind turbine manufacturing facilities in Colorado. Wind has created 3,000-4,000 jobs in operation and maintenance and there has been a $4.3 billion cumulative capital investment in the over 29 wind projects around the state.

     

  2. The cost of renewable energy is falling.

     

    Cost to consumers for renewable energy has been so low because utilities have been able to buy wind power at lower prices than new natural gas power plants. Nationally the cost of wind and solar have fallen by more than 60% over the past five years according to the US Department of Energy.  Xcel Energy is a perfect example of how investing in renewable energy is good for consumers and utility companies, especially in a state like Colorado.  According to the Denver Business Journal Xcel Energy’s recent wind projects will save ratepayers $100 million over the next 25 years. Xcel Energy also has helped create a wind forecasting system in Boulder, reducing forecast errors by more than 38%. 

     

  3. Colorado’s RES has made it the state leader in clean energy.

 

In 2004, Colorado was the first state to pass a Renewable Energy Standard through a ballot. Since 2004, Colorado State Legislature has amended the RES to increase the RES targets. This initiative for renewable energy has increased from .6% to 15% in 2013, with wind providing 13% of Colorado’s electricity demand. This initiative has helped the state rely less on natural gas and more on renewable energy investment to help keep Colorado’s beauty. Companies such as Miller Coors originating in Colorado has followed suit by its “Great Beer, Great Responsibility” campaign to increase its use of renewable energy within all of its breweries across the nation, but especially in the Sandlot Brewery in Downtown Denver, and the Coors Factory in Golden, Colorado.

Thursday, February 5, 2015
A Tour of Hennepin Energy Recovery Center in Minneapolis, MN


On Thursday, a colleague and I went on a tour of the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC) in downtown Minneapolis, adjacent to Target Field. The HERC generates energy by burning garbage and turning it into steam and electricity to power the community. The steam supplies the downtown district energy system and Target Field.


As someone who works in energy efficiency and also personally cares a lot about the environment, the thought of burning garbage doesn’t sound like something I would support. After this tour, I realized what a great resource this is compared to putting the waste from all the communities served into a landfill:

  • Every ton of trash burned at HERC produces 0.7 fewer tons of greenhouse gas emissions than if it were disposed of in a landfill.
  • Decomposing garbage in landfills produces methane, which is 21 times more potent of a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
  • Waste not delivered to HERC must be hauled to landfills outside of the county. Haulers bringing garbage to HERC travel a shorter distance compared to those bringing waste to a landfill, lessening vehicle emissions.
  • Electricity generated at HERC offsets the need to produce energy at power plants that use fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, to generate electricity.
  • All air emissions at HERC go through an air pollution control system, and air emissions are monitored on a continuous basis for multiple pollutants.
  • Landfills do not have a system to capture all air emissions until the landfill is closed and a final “cover” is in place, which is often after years of decomposition. Landfills do not monitor air emissions on a continuous basis.
  • On a per-kilowatt-hour basis, HERC emits less cadmium, lead, mercury, total particulate, hydrochloric acid and sulfur dioxide than a base load coal-fired power plant.

When we think of garbage and waste facilities, the thought of odor comes to many people’s minds. It was interesting that a large priority of the HERC is focused on controlling odor, and on the steps taken to ensure that the community is not affected by their business. This especially affects the open-air stadium that neighbors the facility, where as many as 40,000 baseball fans can be breathing that air.

  • Trucks enter and exit the building through the door on the side of the building farthest from Target Field. 
  • The “tipping” hall, where garbage trucks drop their garbage off, have high-speed doors, minimizing the length of time the doors are open.
  • The tipping floor has negative air pressure. An air lock has been constructed at the entrance to the tipping hall
  • Fans pull air from the tipping floor to be used in the boilers, helping to keep odors inside the facility.
  • A product containing natural ingredients is used to neutralize odors.
  • Roadways are swept and kept clean of debris from trucks.


Inside the facility, there is an odor in the air. Directly outside the facility, the odor is almost non-existent and there are most likely many baseball fans who have no idea there is a facility “recovering” the city’s garbage just next door. 


The HREC tour was an enlightening experience on what happens with my waste after I put it on the curb. They do not sort out recyclables, that is the consumer’s job to do in their homes. HREC will sort out metals and large items, but it showed me how important it is to be more responsible in my own home. Personally, I will reuse, compost, and recycle more whenever possible. 


Knowing that more of the waste in Hennepin County is being turned into energy and creating less environmental impact on the environment than straight landfill waste, I am grateful this type of facility is in the community.


Facts from:  http://www.hennepin.us/your-government/facilities/hennepin-energy-recovery-center

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Don't Figure Your Success at an Event Based Solely on Leads

Developing quality leads from a presence at large events is always the most effective way to see ROI. A physical list of contacts can represent the value added to the company’s investment in this event. However, some events may not yield the substantial leads your company is looking for, which could provide reason to question your very presence at that event. In cases like this, marketing strategists should remember the intangibles that come with having a presence at various events. Positive brand recognition at low-yield events can be just as effective for marketing and furthering communicating your company’s products and services. The intangibles of positive brand recognition all begin with your brand representatives. Training these representatives properly can redeem a low-yield leads event.

 Four strategies you can use to achieve this are: 

Positive word of mouth:  Smiling representatives is the most obvious way to achieve this; yet speaking positively about your brand, products or services is just as important. There is a place for addressing negative reactions or aspects about products and services; however, using positive language to describe your brand is what will get passed on.

Quality interactions at the event: Genuine, engaged representatives who not only present the brand positively but also listen to concerns are key to yielding intangibles. We all enjoy talking to a human being with a personality instead of a robotic representative with rote regurgitations of product information.

Intelligent, helpful FAQ answers: Knowledgeable representatives ready to answer common questions are key to quality interactions, too. A genuine company representative can still harm the brand by not providing solid answers or incorrectly explaining products and services.

Appropriately respond to complaints/negative issues: Complaints and venting can be unavoidable during events, especially with larger-sized companies being present.  But responding to these with all of the above strategies can lead to the complainant being won over. Or, if winning over a person is not a realistic goal, providing other company representatives’ contact info can demonstrate the same genuineness of quality interactions.

Each of these strategies can effectively turn a seemingly worthless event into something better: a sort of playing-for-the-long game operation that can yield unseen results down the road.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
My Professional Path

Over my college career I have “tried on” several career paths and college majors. Entering Regis University as an 18-year-old freshman in the fall of 2011 I thought I wanted to be a teacher. After my school placement in a 1st grade classroom I decided teaching younger children was probably not the career I wanted to pursue. After this change of events I was lost; I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my college career.

Upon the start of my second college semester I started taking several communication classes; one was business and professional communication. I absolutely loved taking this class! I also figured out that public speaking was one of my strong suits. After finishing this class I began to take more business marketing and public relation classes. These classes as well as interacting with my professors inspired me to pursue a career and degree in communication and marketing, which eventually lead me to several internships.

The summer before my junior year of college I started my first marketing internship at Castle Rock Hospital. This internship was very eye opening to the many possibilities my degree had to offer. I joined the Castle Rock Hospital marketing team as they prepared for the grand opening of the hospital in August 2013. During my time at the hospital I gained insight into several social media tactics, press release tactics and event planning ideas. I was able to interact with health professionals as well as health administrators. This internship was a good experience and excellent to put on my resume, having created several contacts and was able to network with several people in the state of Colorado.

Starting in August 2013 I began working for Regis University as an intern in the Regis College Admissions Office. This internship was very different from my Castle Rock Hospital internship. I began interacting with all types of people, from high school counselors to high school students and their families. My Regis education has truly inspired me and it's something I believe in. Being able to talk to prospective students and their families about all of the possibilities Regis has to offer to its students comes easy to me. I have found once you believe in the “product” it is much easier to talk about. I am still an intern in the Regis College Admissions Office, and love every minute of it.

Finally, Energy Resources became my home away from home in December 2013 when I joined the Energy Resources event outreach marketing team. Similar to my experience in the Regis admissions office, speaking to people about something I believe in makes work fun. I truly believe in the work that Energy Resources does both in and out of the office. Event outreach marketing was something I had some experience in because of my previous internships, so face-to-face interaction with people is something I consider to be my strong suit. During my time at Energy Resources I have learned how beneficial it is to “get out” into the community and make face-to-face connections with  consumers, because it develops a personal connection. In August 2014 I became an intern for Energy Resources where I was able to expand my knowledge on event marketing, social media, and renewable energy, as well as create several contacts. I have learned so much from all of my internships, but my time at Energy Resources has truly been my favorite. This internship has pushed me to be an active participant in the world of social media as well as in the office. I have also learned about the “behind the scenes” work that goes on in order to make a smaller company successful. I am excited to see what my professional future holds and am truly grateful for all of the professional opportunities I have taken part in thus far.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Surveying Colorado’s Energy Landscape heading in to 2015: Keep your Eye on the Prize this Mid-term Election!

Surveying Colorado’s Energy Landscape heading in to 2015: Keep your Eye on the Prize this Mid-term Election!

Over the last decade, Colorado has built a profitable clean energy infrastructure supporting over 10,000 direct jobs and positioning the state as leader in CleanTech & Energy Efficiency initiatives.

 At this time of mid-term elections, it is important to understand these victories and to pay attention to the challenges ahead, so that our state may maintain it’s record as an industry leader. 

This November, about a third of the Senate and every House member is up for a vote, There are some big battles that could strongly affect Energy Policy in Colorado, as well as nationwide. For example, the closely watched Colorado senate race will determine if long time environmental champion Sen. Mark Udall (D) stays in his position on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

 Colorado has a History as Leader in Clean Energy

 Colorado’s leadership in the policy and political arenas has bolstered the state’s attractiveness for the development of renewable energy projects and provided the certainty needed to attract other cleantech businesses. Colorado’s renewable energy standard remains one of the most ambitious in the country. In addition, the Governor’s Energy Office and other partners have actively promoted Colorado’s ‚New Energy Economy‛ and the state’s Climate Action Plan as drivers of economic development. This demonstres the type of leadership that creates a stable policy environment for cleantech companies.

 Colorado has an abundance of renewable energy resources, including wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal, and boasts the 7th largest solar photovoltaic market and the 10th largest wind market in the U.S.

 In 2004 Colorado’s voters adopted a renewable energy standard (RES), the first in the country enacted by popular vote.  The Colorado RES has been updated to increase renewable energy requirements since then and now (2014) requires the following:

  • 30% renewable energy by 2020 for investor owned utilities (IOUs)
  • 20% renewable energy by 2020 for rural electrics
  • 10% renewable energy by 2020 for municipal utilities

 Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),  proposed standard carbon reduction targets for each state, based on the local energy resources and profile. In Colorado, the standard requires a 35% reduction in the carbon intensity of emissions from the 2012 level by 2030. It is looking like Colorado is already well poised to meet these targets with ease, with most utilities already implementing carbon reduction strategies.

 Xcel energy is already shutting down several hundred megawatts worth of coal-based power production and replacing it with natural gas-fired power plants. And they expect that by 2020, the utility will have reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its Colorado power plants by 35 percent compared to 2005.

 There’s still Much More to be Done, ….Keep Pushing the Envelope Colorado!

Even though major Colorado utilities are on pace to produce 30% of their electricity from renewable sources before 2020, in rural Colorado only 10% of energy is generated by clean energy sources. Thousands are missing out because their utility offers no energy saving programs. With abundant wind, plenty of sunshine, and an environment worth protecting, it’s time to get all utilities to adopt energy efficiency standards that are as robust as that of Xcel Energy.

 Pats on the Back and But don’t Slide Backl

Colorado has avoided 1.1 million tons of carbon pollution, the equivalent of taking 215,000 cars of the road due to Energy Effciency programs.   Energy efficiency is one of the most commonsense ways to combat climate change. It puts more money in your pocket book and takes pollution out of our air. Xcel Energy has been able to exceed their energy efficiency goals every year since this program was implemented, while spending less than they had budgeted for energy efficiency in 4 of the 5 years. In fact, for every $1 invested by utilities on energy efficiency programs, customers have saved nearly $3 on their bill. These investments have enabled energy efficient businesses to thrive; an industry that creates good-paying, local jobs and now employs more than 1,000 workers in Colorado.

 Unfortunately, the Public Utilities Commission is currently considering a proposal which would significantly lower these energy efficiency goals.

 Vote this mid-term Season!

Below is a list of energy related ballot measures across Colorado. These ballot measures cover issues from fracking bans, to utilities and related tax questions.

Colorado Energy Development by Cities, Measure 4 (1974)

Colorado Mandatory Setback of Oil and Gas Wells Amendment (2014)

Colorado Renewable Energy Requirement, Initiative 37 (2004)

Colorado Carbon Dioxide Emissions Act (2008)

Colorado Carbon Tax Initiative (2008)

Colorado Environmental Rights Amendment (2014)

Colorado New Housing Water Use (2010)

Colorado Private Property Water Access Amendment (2010)

Colorado Distribution of Oil and Gas Revenue Initiative (2014)

Colorado Local Regulation of Oil and Gas Amendment (2014)

Colorado Local Regulation of Oil and Gas Development Initiative (2014)

Colorado Payments for Water by the Rio Grande Water Conservation District, Initiative 16 (1998)

Colorado Severance Tax on Oil and Gas, Measure 4 (1952)

Colorado "Great Outdoors Colorado", Initiative 8 (1992)

Colorado Beverage Containers Refund Initiative (1982)

Colorado Deposit Refund for Beverage Containers, Measure 8 (1976)

Colorado Environmental Rights Amendment (2014)

Colorado Game and Fish Commission, Measure 3 (1940)

Category:Local utility tax and fees, Colorado, 2010

Category:Local utility tax and fees, Colorado, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, October 20, 2014
Wind Turbines and Birds: What You Need to Know

Wind turbines and birds now on better terms.

Have you ever heard that wind turbines endanger birds? A new study from WEST Inc, an environmental and statistical consulting firm in the United States, says otherwise.

“We estimate that on an annual basis, less than 0.1% ... of songbird and other small passerine species populations in North America perish from collisions with turbines," says lead author Wallace Erickson.

Wind turbines kill between 214,000 and 368,000 birds annually — a small fraction compared with the estimated 6.8 million fatalities from collisions with cell and radio towers and the 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion deaths from cats, according to the peer-reviewed study by two federal scientists and the environmental consulting firm West Inc.

"The avian benefits of wind energy: A 2009 update” study done by Benjamin Sovacool says the same thing:

Causes of avian mortality in the United States, annual

Source

Estimated
mortality
(in millions)

Estimated
deaths
(per GWh)

Wind turbines[40][41][42]

0.02 – 0.37

0.269

Aircraft[43]

0.08

(n/a)

Communication towers(cellular, radio, microwave)[40]

4 – 50

(n/a)

Large communications towers(over 180', N. America)[47]

6.8

(n/a)

Fossil fuel powerplants[40]

14

5.18

Cars & trucks[40][46]

50 – 100

(n/a)

Pesticide use[40]

72

(n/a)

Hunting[40][46]

100 – 120

(n/a)

Transmission lines(conventional powerplants)[40][46]

174 – 175

(n/a)

Buildings and windows[48]

365 – 988

(n/a)

Domestic and feral cats[40][49][50][51]

210 – 3,700

(n/a)

 

The birds are not at fault here. “There is nothing in the evolution of eagles that would come near to describing a wind turbine," Grainger Hunt, a raptor specialist with the Peregrine Fund. "There has never been an opportunity to adapt to that sort of threat."

Which makes sense and change is being made. The wind turbine industry has changed the old lattice-style layout to make the structure less appealing to landing birds. As well as placing the wind turbine farms out of migration routes and adding lights to them to help with nighttime migratory bird collision.

Cats or cars being a greater harm to birds than wind turbines does not excuse the lesser harm, but that the reputation of wind turbines with the change in the industry is making for a brighter future for this type of renewable energy.

http://www.west-inc.com/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/09/15/wind-turbines-kill-fewer-birds-than-cell-towers-cats/15683843/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_wind_power#cite_note-Eilperin-7

http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/policy/collisions/wind_faq.html

 

Thursday, September 25, 2014
What do you know about Electric Vehicle Incentives?

Electric Vehicles have seen impressive technological advancements in recent years.  More important than the technology, however, is the initiative being taken by countries around the world to promote and implement the use of electric vehicles (EVs).  Statistics show exponential growth in not only EV sales, but in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions prevented as well.  This is a certainly a trend worth following.

Incentives have been the driving force for the sales of Electric Vehicles.  Incentives are essentially a monetary “bonus” that one would receive for doing something; in this case, it is to purchase an EV while it’s still a very new technology in the development stage.  “Do X, get Y.”  The United States offers Federal Tax credits up to $7,500 to purchase a new EV for personal use.  Additionally, each individual State provides incentives of different values. For example, Colorado offers to pay up to 75% of the cost of an EV or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), while in Florida, EV’s are exempt from insurance surcharges as well as restrictions to the carpool lanes.  In Nevada, EV’s are exempt from having to pay public parking meters and emissions inspections.  To find your State’s incentives, visit http://www.pluginamerica.org/incentives.

The United States is not the only country on board with incentivizing their target market.  China has made new EV’s tax-free for their population in an effort to reduce pollution and conserve their natural resources.  Prior to waiving the tax, EV buyers paid 10% of the net value of the vehicle in taxes.  A representative of the state council said that this move is a “win-win” for achieving industrial development and environmental protection.  Although China currently only has approximately 70,000 EV’s on the road, they have set a goal to have 5 million on the road in 2020. 

London has undergone a trial run of implementing four hybrid buses capable of wirelessly charging themselves at specially equipped bus stops.  The diesel-electric hybrid engine only runs off of the diesel fuel after its’ battery has been depleted, which is expected to be a small amount of time.  If the trial run goes smoothly, Transport for London will begin a rollout of 800 hybrid buses as well as 6 purely electric buses and the introduction of a zero-emission hydrogen bus.

Paris has been using an EV car-sharing program for 3 years now and has recorded 30 million miles as of July 2014.  The traffic congestion in Paris created a challenge for business professionals traveling across town for meetings.  Their “Boris” cars are helping to alleviate the congestion issues while also reducing the amount of pollution.  Another upside to the growing trend is that for younger people, purchasing and owning a car is no longer on the radar.  Given the additional costs and awareness of environmental concerns, younger Parisians agree that owning a car no longer has the social cachet it once had.

Technological advancements in the world of EV’s has allowed for the merging of practicality and entertainment.  Formula E, the world’s newest competitive sport, will feature all battery-powered EV’s racing against one another in a Formula 1 format.  “Formula E” chief executive Alejandro Agag has high expectations for the zero-emission race series:  “to make electric cars sexy, accelerate improvements in technology, tackle city-choking air pollution, and ultimately, climate change.”  Agag has implemented a social-media aspect into Formula E that will help to raise awareness about the issues.  The driver who receives the most votes to win via social media will receive a 2.5 second “fan boost” that also increases the power of their car.  This innovative sport can prove to be a successful tool for generating heightened interest and ultimately, increased sales of EV’s.

The EV industry has seen very slow growth relative to the amount of time and money spent on developing this technology.  However, it is becoming evident that as environmental concerns are more heavily targeted, EV use will continue to grow as it has most recently.  The efforts made by these countries call attention to the issue and raise the bar for EV development in the future, and we at Energy Resources are excited to see it unfold!  For the most up-to-date news on Electric Vehicles, visit www.PlugInAmerica.org.

Works Cited

http://www.pluginamerica.org/incentives

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/electric-cars   

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/10/china-exempts-electric-cars-from-tax

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/07/-sp-formula-e-electric-car-racing-motor-sport

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