I had the chance to moderate a panel on sustainable technology Wednesday at Los Angeles Technology Week, and had a great opportunity to ask questions and hear from some experts in the area. On the panel was Rao Surampudi of JPL — who designed the batteries and power systems for the Mars Rover, Gregg Ander — a green building expert from Southern California Edison, Michael Bissonette, GM of Aerovironment’s Efficient Energy Systems group; John Howard, of Idealab startup Distributed World Power; and Deep Patel, of GoGreenSolar.com, an online retailer for solar and wind power. The one benefit of being moderator on these panels is you get to ask the questions you want to hear the answers too, and you get to hear from experts who are far more experienced that you are on topics such as clean energy.
Among the many great insights from the panelists — as well as from other panels at the conference — was that much of getting the benefit of sustainable energy and clean energy is just putting it into action. I asked the panelists if there were any areas of clean technology which could make a huge difference, and they all said that the technology is now out there, available, and just needs to be put into the market. They also all agreed that one of the most exciting areas — in both the energy industry as a whole, as well as for Southern California, is in the auto industry.
Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell vehicle. Here’s a solution to your high gas prices: If you’re within range of the (very few) hydrogen fueling centers for this car (ie, Santa Monica, Burbank, etc.) Chevy is loaning out this and other Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles for free (including hydrogen), for two months at a time.