green energy to charge electric vehicles

green energy to charge electric vehicles
green energy to charge electric vehicles

There is a city facing the sea that has decided to let green energy flourish in its streets and parks. It reminds me a little of my Naples, with the Malvarrosa beach, but it’s in Spain. It is Valencia, the pearl of the Costa Blanca, which has for several weeks been home to four curious specimens of extraordinary “trees”. Don’t look for nests or fruits among the branches: these trees actually produce electricity. These are the new “photovoltaic trees” wanted by the municipal administration to give impetus to sustainable mobility and the fight against climate change. Iconic structures, with strong symbolic value, which combine technology and nature to offer citizens a smart way to recharge their electric vehicles, from bicycles to scooters, scooters and portable devices. An ambitious project, which is part of a broader strategy aimed at making Valencia an increasingly green and forward-looking city. Because when it comes to renewable energy, even a single tree can make a difference. Not to mention four.

Solar trees are cool!

Let’s start with a question you’re probably asking yourself: are these “photovoltaic trees” real trees or are they just structures that look like us? Well, if you are expecting to see them grow, flower and lose their leaves, you will be disappointed. In reality, these are artificial installations imitating the shape of a tree, complete with a trunk, branches and leaves. Except that instead of leaves there are solar panels, and instead of flowers there are charging sockets. Almost synthetic trees, but much more useful than the fake ones used to decorate the living room.

The good thing is that these green trees, in addition to being beautiful to look at, are also super effective. Think about that each of them has a power of 3.6 kWh, thanks to 12 solar panels of 300 W each. Simply put: a nice boost of clean energy, more than enough to charge a variety of electric vehicles, from classic bicycles to the most modern scooters and scooters. And don’t forget your smartphones and tablets, which you can attach to tree sockets to stock up on green electrons.

Project of 330 thousand euros

Ok but who had this brilliant idea of ​​planting solar trees around Valencia? The credit goes to the municipal council led by the mayor Maria José Catala, who decided to invest 330.000 euros in this visionary project. Yes, you heard correctly: three hundred and thirty thousand euros, a figure that would make even the most generous Scrooge pale. But for the Valencian administration, this is not a waste, quite the contrary: it is a strategic investment to promote sustainable mobility and improve air quality in the city.

On the other hand, with so much light available (in Valencia, as in Naples, the sun almost never fails), it would have been a shame not to make the most of it. And so, after a participatory process involving citizens (the famous “Decidim 2020”, a sort of Valencian participatory budget), the town hall decided to place the four photovoltaic trees in as many strategic points in the city, chosen for their accessibility and their attendance. Translated: where there are more people who can enjoy it, from university students to tourists visiting the parks.

How much energy do they produce for Valencia and the people of Valencia? A blow.

Let’s get to the heart of the matter: how much do these solar trees produce? It is estimated that each tree can generate up to 5.313 kWh per year (except that of the Jardin du Turia, which stops at 2.657 kWh, but that’s because there is less sun, poor thing). In total, the four trees should produce the beauty of 18.596 XNUMX kWh par an. To give you an idea, that’s more or less the annual electricity consumption of 6 average Spanish families, but we’re not talking about powering homes here. We’re talking about powering micromobility devices and small vehicles, so it’s so much more. Not bad for fake plants, eh?

But beyond the figures, the most interesting aspect of this project is its symbolic and educational value. Indeed, solar trees are not just charging stations for electric vehicles, but small monuments of sustainability that attract the attention of citizens and visitors to the theme of renewable energies.

The future is green, according to the words of Valencia

After being elected European Green Capital 2024, Valencia shows that it is not afraid to dare, to experiment with new solutions to make the lives of its citizens more sustainable and on a human (and environmental) scale. These photovoltaic trees are just one of the many projects that the administration is carrying out in this direction, from the creation of new cycle paths to the installation of charging stations for electric vehicles.

Of course, someone could argue (and they certainly will, what’s the point? Social media is full of people who solve everything for you with a joke) that four solar trees won’t change the fate of the planet, and that many more would be. necessary to counter climate change. And it’s true, we certainly can’t think of solving everything with a few panels here and there. But imagine a city where 50 real and photovoltaic trees are “planted” (perhaps in a 50:1 ratio). Shade, better air and energy. It would be an incredible change.

In the meantime, if you’re in Valencia, don’t forget to take a look under one of these high-tech trees. You can recharge your scooter or your smartphone, and perhaps take a selfie to immortalize the moment. And if you’re feeling a little environmentalist 2.0, well, there’s nothing wrong. After all, even green revolutions start with a small gesture. Or a solar tree, in this case.

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