JEA must show leadership on green energy


Electric cars are coming, like it or not. Manufacturers offering solid electric cars currently have a much greater demand than they can meet. For example, there are more orders for the Ford F-150 Lightning than can be filled in three years of planned production.

The Florida legislature has been in the hands of the fossil fuel industry, dampening consumer interest in rooftop solar power with a terrible deal. Consumers sell electricity to the utility company for 25% of the cost of purchasing the same company.

All grid users should pay for maintenance, but businesses should not get discounts when consuming a lot of energy. Rather, network costs should be billed separately and in proportion to usage. This would encourage companies to go solar power themselves.

Many EVs will have V2G (vehicle to grid – battery power that can be used by the grid) capability in the near future, as long as Florida and / or JEA do not ban its use. It could be a game-changer for utilities. Instead of using expensive energy, they could use the batteries of cars connected to the grid at night or during peak hours.

Once electric vehicles are ubiquitous and owners have enough incentive to plug their cars into the grid when not in use, utilities would have an incentive to go all-solar, even renting rooftops where solar panels could. be placed.

These panels are becoming much cheaper and more efficient. Forward-thinking utilities should start redesigning the grid and seeing the roof as part of it – along with V2G cars – so long-haul power lines are not needed.

According to GreenCars.com, the Ford Lightning’s battery is capable of powering a home for three days or more, even in summer, with air conditioning. Combining solar panels and an electric car as a back-up battery could not only provide enough electricity for a home, but could also balance out periods when the sun is not available to power the panels.

Power companies should embrace solar power and the use of V2G, rather than discourage it like they did in Florida. Let the market figure out how it works, and eliminate fossil fuel-based regulation (which discourages homeowners from switching to solar power).

Peter Bishop is a retired non-profit executive and has lived in Northeast Florida for over three decades. He has reservations for a Lightning pickup truck and the Volkswagen ID4, both of which will feature V2G systems.


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