What if the roads we drove on, instead of being made of carbon-intensive petroleum sludge, were actually solar panels? And what if whenever electric vehicles drove on these solar roads, they were automatically re-charged? Sounds like a fiction, wishful thinking, a dream? Well, here at Sea Change Radio we like to celebrate the dreamers, and in 2014 we profiled Solar Roadways, a hot new startup at the time, based on the wild idea of paving roads with solar panels. There were critics who pooh-poohed the idea, but there were also a lot of us who fell in love with it. This week on Sea Change Radio, we give our listeners an update on the progress being made to bring this innovative technology to the streets, in Europe and via US government contracts. We talk to the co-founders of Solar Roadways, Scott and Julie Brusaw to get the latest on their company, learn about dynamic charging technology, and allow them to respond to criticism about their product.
In physics, electricity is power. Electricity can also be power, though, in the sense that it creates opportunity for the pursuit of social capital and positive outcomes. This week on Sea Change Radio, we highlight the efforts of two nonprofits that are working to bring clean, affordable energy to some of the most under-resourced people on the planet. First, we hear from Anya Cherneff of Empower Generation who gives us a snapshot of her organization’s efforts to bring electricity to people in Nepal, and how it connects to fighting human trafficking in Southeast Asia. Then, Moira Hanes from Empowered By Light talks about the difference her organization has made both in Nepal and Zambia.
Even the most astute followers of the news may have missed that the Trump Administration is touting a series of self-proclaimed focal areas. With compelling revelations of lying, collusion, and treason coming out almost daily, it’s understandable if absurd, toothless initiatives like “Energy Week,” or “Workforce Development Week” flew under your radar. Today on Sea Change Radio, we try to decipher what the actual energy policies of the current administration are with the help of Axios energy reporter, Amy Harder. We dissect Harder’s piece, “What Trump gets wrong about coal, natural gas and carbon,” analyze the divides within various federal agencies, and try to make heads or tails of what she dubs “a collection of contradictions.”
Many people living in Pacific nations, like Vanuatu, Indonesia, and the Philippines, struggle to find adequate shelter, a challenge compounded by the elevated risk of structure-destroying cyclones. Meanwhile, miles off their coasts, plastic waste floats in the ocean, contaminating the marine food chain and threatening the world’s largest ecosystem. Our guest this week is Nev Hyman, an avid surfer who saw these two seemingly unrelated problems and devised a solution. His company, Nev House, uses recycled plastic to build low-cost, fire- and cyclone-resistant, solar- and water sanitation-equipped houses for people living in developing nations. He tells us about how Nev House partners with charities to actualize their business model, how he feels the emergency shelter system should be streamlined, and how this small company will upcycle 3 million tons of plastic waste over the next four years.