New Partnership Model Brings Dutch Boats to San Francisco Bay

By Greg Kandankulam

Greg Kandankulam is the Program Manager for OrangeGoesGreen where he manages the organization’s projects and initiatives, program development and member relations. He is also a sustainability consultant and technology developer for Real NewEnergy where he combines his Presidio Graduate School MBA in Sustainable Management with his background in finance and power generation.

Jan 26, 2013 | Smart Cities | 0 comments


Who will you meet?

Cities are innovating, companies are pivoting, and start-ups are growing. Like you, every urban practitioner has a remarkable story of insight and challenge from the past year.

Meet these peers and discuss the future of cities in the new Meeting of the Minds Executive Cohort Program. Replace boring virtual summits with facilitated, online, small-group discussions where you can make real connections with extraordinary, like-minded people.


 

Creating public/private partnerships to advance a cause or promote a certain set of values is not a new concept.  While grassroots initiatives are crucial to getting sustainable development into our neighborhoods, there needs to be cooperation by multi-national corporations, government agencies and community-based stakeholders in order to promote real change on a global level.

OrangeGoesGreen

This is the mission behind OrangeGoesGreen, a non-profit venture, backed by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which is a “private-public partnership initiative harnessing economic diplomacy, promotional activities and the transfer of knowledge between Dutch and North-American government agencies, knowledge institutes and companies.” Here in San Francisco, this initiative has been created to crystallize the best practices associated with stakeholder engagement and sustainable development.

OrangeGoesGreen is a member driven network of sustainability principled companies that provide the expertise, products and services that OrangeGoesGreen’s projects require. The value proposition that we offer is the stakeholder engagement and feasibility assessment of the projects we create for our members and local stakeholders. Once project parameters and roles have been agreed upon and established, we hand over the reigns of the project to the cluster of members formed specifically for an individual project as a “for profit” business venture. For our members, we create new international relationships they may have not been able to make on their own. For local stakeholders, we seek to provide access to new ideas and progressive technologies for a sustainable future. We see this as a model for how international sustainable development should be accomplished throughout the world.

The success of OrangeGoesGreen is derived from the technical expertise, financial strength and/or political influence of our partners. Our membership includes a wide variety of partners.

We believe that the development of new sustainable technologies and policies can only happen with the complete engagement of the various sectors we have listed.

I was at a recent Presidio Graduate School event with Gordon Feller from Cisco, Justin Lovitz of AutoDesk and Peter Graf from SAP. They all discussed their beginnings in urban sustainability. As Peter spoke about transformational change (government, corporate, societal, etc.), he said “You have to be able to talk with empathy, you have to understand what makes people move, and you can’t be afraid.” OrangeGoesGreen’s objective is to create a better world with lower impact frameworks and technologies, and we echo Peter’s sentiment.

The San Francisco Clean Boats & Bikes Project

A good example of an OrangeGoesGreen project is our electric water taxi, electric bicycle and renewable energy barge initiative, which we have branded the San Francisco Clean Boats & Bikes Initiative.

Rendering of water taxi concept

Rendering of water taxi concept

Electric mobility is a crucial step towards a low emission and fossil fuel independent future. Many transportation markets already see this as an immediate reality. Success stories in the Netherlands demonstrate convincingly that several electric propulsion applications are market-ready and can help to kick start the broader market for electric transport.

The electric boats and bicycles initiative benefit from all the features of electric transport yet they do not suffer from the technical (energy storage) challenges. This is due to a renewable charging barge component and the limited geographic footprint of the plan. Both electric boats and electric bicycles are proving themselves under real market conditions without any incentives, offering ease, financial savings, comfort, fun and potentially no emissions at all. San Francisco has the ideal positioning geographically, culturally and politically to accomplish an initiative like the Clean Boats and Bikes Project (SF-CBB).  We are convinced that SF-CBB will help enable a revolution in clean transport as these technologies have essential requirements to compete with existing conventional alternatives, such a combustion engines.

Rendering of barge concept

Rendering of barge concept

OrangeGoesGreen is in very positive conversations with several local and international partners to bring this project to fruition. In addition, we have met with the Port of San Francisco and the San Francisco Department of Environment. The initial vision of the project includes Electric Water Taxis with existing shore power derived from renewable sources. In keeping with the ideals of sustainability we are incorporating into this project the following possible combination of components:

  1. Electric Water Taxis with existing shore power derived from renewable sources combined with light Electric Vehicles (electric bicycles and scooters). The plan calls for integration for charging platforms for the light EV’s and a vehicle share program to allow that transport to be a feeder system towards water taxi landing sights. OGG has been in initial conversation with San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the Transportation division of the San Francisco Department of the Environment in framing this portion of the project.
  2. Electric Water Taxis powered by a Renewable Energy Barge incorporating multiple renewable energy sources in one platform. Renewable technologies would include marine hydrokinetics (tidal turbines), solar panels, small wind and power optimization technology that can handle these resources.

The design on construction of the water taxis will be a truly international collaboration with hulls designed in the Netherlands through our Dutch partners and built in the US. Drive systems and controls will come from the Netherlands as well. OrangeGoesGreen has solidified a relationship with a concierge water taxi operation, Tideline Marine Group. With the approach of the America’s Cup Finals to San Francisco in the summer of 2013, we see an opportunity to bring this much needed low-emission transportation to the city as quickly as feasible.

We see the SF-CBB project as a milestone in several arenas and we expect the fulfillment of this initiative to have lasting benefits for the city:

  1. As success stories in the Netherlands have demonstrated convincingly, electric mobility is at the forefront of any national conversation. San Francisco can continue to be a leader in this space with OrangeGoesGreen’s unique approach to this issue.
  2. Operational costs could be considerably lowered by using electrical transportation instead of the conventional transportation used today.
  3. We see the promotional benefits for the organizations, which either contribute technically or sponsor financially, to be brand elevating.
  4. This initiative can sustainably solve a problem in transportation that the City of San Francisco as formally requested resolution on by means of a RFQ.

There needs to be universal commitment to implementing projects that serve the public good as well as preserve our natural environment. It is with these values that we are undertaking the Clean Boats & Bikes Initiative and expect it to be a model for how urban transit can be structured in the future.

Discussion

Leave your comment below, or reply to others.

Please note that this comment section is for thoughtful, on-topic discussions. Admin approval is required for all comments. Your comment may be edited if it contains grammatical errors. Low effort, self-promotional, or impolite comments will be deleted.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read more from MeetingoftheMinds.org

Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology

Taking a Look into Our Adaptation Blind Spots

Taking a Look into Our Adaptation Blind Spots

In my business, we’d rather not be right. What gets a climate change expert out of bed in the morning is the desire to provide decision-makers with the best available science, and at the end of the day we go to bed hoping things won’t actually get as bad as our science tells us. That’s true whether you’re a physical or a social scientist.

Well, I’m one of the latter and Meeting of the Minds thought it would be valuable to republish an article I penned in January 2020. In that ancient past, only the most studious of news observers had heard of a virus in Wuhan, China, that was causing a lethal disease. Two months later we were in lockdown, all over the world, and while things have improved a lot in the US since November 2020, in many cities and nations around the world this is not the case. India is living through a COVID nightmare of untold proportions as we speak, and many nations have gone through wave after wave of this pandemic. The end is not in sight. It is not over. Not by a longshot.

And while the pandemic is raging, sea level continues to rise, heatwaves are killing people in one hemisphere or the other, droughts have devastated farmers, floods sent people fleeing to disaster shelters that are not the save havens we once thought them to be, wildfires consumed forests and all too many homes, and emissions dipped temporarily only to shoot up again as we try to go “back to normal.”

So, I’ll say another one of those things I wish I’ll be wrong about, but probably won’t: there is no “back to normal.” Not with climate change in an interdependent world.

Bleutech Park: Vegas’ New Eco Entertainment Park

Bleutech Park: Vegas’ New Eco Entertainment Park

I caught up with Steph Stoppenhagen from Black & Veatch the other day about their work on critical infrastructure in Las Vegas. In particular, we talked about the new Bleutech Park project which touts itself as an eco-entertainment park. They are deploying new technologies and materials to integrate water, energy, mobility, housing, and climate-smart solutions as they anticipate full-time residents and park visitors. Hear more from Steph about this new $7.5B high-tech biome in the desert.

Urban Simulation Tech Models Effects of Shared Mobility in Reducing Congestion

Urban Simulation Tech Models Effects of Shared Mobility in Reducing Congestion

Planning for new, shared modes of transit that will rival private vehicles in access and convenience requires a paradigm shift in the planning process. Rather than using traditional methods, we need to capture individual behavior while interacting with the systems in questions. An increasing number of studies show that combining agent-based simulation with activity-based travel demand modeling is a good approach. This approach creates a digital twin of the population of the city, with similar characteristics as their real-world counterparts. These synthetic individuals have activities to perform through the course of the day, and need to make mobility decisions to travel between activity locations. The entire transportation infrastructure of the city is replicated on a virtual platform that simulates real life scenarios. If individual behavior and the governing laws of the digital reality are accurately reproduced, large-scale mobility demand emerges from the bottom-up, reflecting the real-world incidences.

The Future of Cities

Mayors, planners, futurists, technologists, executives and advocates — hundreds of urban thought leaders publish on Meeting of the Minds. Sign up below to follow the future of cities.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Wait! Before You Leave —

Wait! Before You Leave —

Subscribe to receive updates on the Executive Cohort Program!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This