Monday, October 19, 2009

Electric Vehicles, Solar and Wind Energy Home retrofitting

Electric Vehicles
Documentary Filmmaker, Chris Paine has produced a wonderful documentary, 'Who Killed the Electric Car?'
The film's premise is that the EV (electric vehicle) produced by General Motors was so desirable that GM stopped production, dismantled the production lines and destroyed the existing EVs to try and discourage the public's desire for this kind of automobile.
Some of the adversaries of the EVs, claim that even though the cars themselves are environmentally clean, the electricity used to 'charge' the cars require electricity that is produced by Coal Burning Power Plants. This is a half truth. 55% of the Power Plants we have now are Coal Burning, 45% are not. This is the only legitimate claim adversaries to EV have that seems to claim that indirectly the EV is still a polluting vehicle.

We at GRNNRG.ORG believe that with the residential green energy retrofitting of individuals home with wind, solar and in some cases geothermal energy production, would eliminate indirect pollution. An individual could produce enough 'Home Produced Energy' to supply a household and it's occupant's electric cars with more than enough electricity.

We particularly like what is being done in converting 'classic' automobiles to electric.
Lincvolt in the Northern California Bay Area ( have successfully restored a 1959 Lincoln Continental with an electric motor and batteries and are taking on a cross country road tour to take this cool concept directly to the public. This is the inspiration of singer/songwriter Neil Young.

In Los Angeles, EMC is doing the same thing. They have a TV program on the 'Planet Green' channel, 'Gadgets Electric Garage" where a 1967 Camaro is restored with an electric motor and batteries.
We need more of the same. '60s VW Beetles, 65 Mustangs, muscle cars, large luxury cars can all come back, free of polluting and carbon footprints.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could live out the rest if our lives with out a electric or gasoline bill. This is not just possible and plausible, but is probable as well. The current technology exists and has existed for nearly 20 years.
This technology should be in all new housing and existing housing should be retro fitted. The public can be reluctant to convert to green energy production if it is at all inconvenient or has a cost that is any more than their monthly electric bill.
The green system would need to provide enough electricity to power a home and the automobiles of it's occupants.

Retrofitting existing Homes
The cost of install the green system in a home should be equal to the homes existing monthly electric bill over a period of 5 years. At the end of this period there should be no cost for the green produced electricity for the life of the home.
If your average monthly electric bill is $100 per month, the system total installation cost should be $6000. Small 1,200 ft home.
If your average monthly electric bill is $500 per month, the system total installation cost should be $30,000. Large 5,000
We recommend a system of solar and wind, where it is practical, depending on the geographic atmospheric conditions. Geo-thermal steam in areas that lack sufficient wind or sunlight.

On my home conversion project (wind and solar retrofitting), I called 5 contractors for estimates. They all came to about the same cost estimates.

About $20,000 for a Wind Turbine (About $14,500 after CA State rebate and about $8,500 with the Fed Tax Credit)
24 (190 W) solar panels cost (4.4 A/C, 5.25 D/C system) about $35,000 ($25,500 after CA State rebate and 18,000 after the Fed Tax Credit).

From a green energy contractor, a combo system would cost about, $20,000-$25,000 (after rebates and tax credits) for a small 1200 ft home. Unfortunately the financing cost is $40,000-$50,000. The rebates and tax credit come later.

I am now looking into multiple (3 or 4) smaller and more environmentally aesthetic windmill turbines. I live in the high desert with intermittent periods of high wind speeds and lots of sunlight. With each wind turbine having different wind speed efficiencies and a dozen or so roof top solar panels, I should be set
My goal is to get this system for a total cost of under $10,000 before rebates and Tax Credits. I found several smaller wind turbine kits in the $600-$1,000 range on the Internet. I'll let you know what I find.

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