by Eric Cohen
Solar power is more affordable, accessible, and prevalent in the United States than ever before. From just 0.34 GW in 2008, U.S. solar power capacity has grown to more than 121 gigawatts of solar capacity installed nationwide, enough to power 23.3 million homes.1 Globally, solar is expected to account for 60% of the increase in global renewal capacity in 2022, taking the global total to more than 300 gigawatts. 2
As a player in the solar industry, 50/50 Clean Energy is an electrical contracting business that’s focused on residential and commercial property owners interested in switching to solar by installing solar panels, EV chargers, and battery storage units. Company owner and electrical contractor Austin Guyness foresees a future that doesn’t stop with solar power. “I see a future that includes wireless charging. Dealing with solar energy and chargers every day, we’re experiencing a revolution. Beyond what my customers are doing, I look to a future when I can fuel my vehicle with energy from the sun – wirelessly.” Austin lives in Bakersfield, CA, so plentiful sunshine is a given.
Austin doesn’t currently drive an electric vehicle but is approaching his EV future from an electrician’s point of view. Unlike most consumers in the market, Austin is not influenced by the look of a vehicle or a brand name. He’s more influenced by the vehicle’s power and efficiency. “I spend time studying the technology, understanding the power grid, and looking at wires. There’s really no need to have charging wires come into a vehicle. It’s safer if they don’t. And for convenience, wireless charging is the next wave in powering electric vehicles,” Austin explains. “I can’t wait for a time when I can simply park and begin charging. No need to plug in. No need to remember. It’ll be so easy.”
Austin spends his days installing solar panels and talking about solar energy, but he can’t wait for the time when we don’t even have to touch the grid. “First, we remove the oil refineries from powering vehicles. Then we remove connecting to the electric grid. Power from the sun, directly to the charger … that’s our future.” Taking electric vehicles one step further, Austin is excited about an autonomous future. “It won’t be long until cars are fully autonomous. And, of course, a car isn’t truly autonomous if someone has to plug it in to charge. With vehicles coordinated, autonomy will resolve so many traffic and environmental problems. Less accidents. Less waiting in traffic. Less frustration.”
“Wireless makes it all possible, ” Austin quickly adds.