Do you ever wonder why so many people ride bikes in a place like the Netherlands while so few do in Texas? Both places are flat with temperate weather, and physicists call the bicycle the most efficient means for human transportation yet invented, so why do residents in one location ride bicycles at so much lower a rate? Well, the answer, it turns out, is complicated and involves political, cultural, and practical factors.
This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from Michael Payne, a wind energy executive-turned-bicycle-advocate. He talks with host Alex Wise about the efforts his non-profit, Bike Houston, is undertaking to change policy, attitudes, and habits in the nation’s 4th largest city. While it’s unlikely this work will transform Houston into a Southwestern Amsterdam anytime soon, the lessons from the work of Payne and his colleagues may well inspire similar bicycle revolutions in other cities.
A couple of decades who could have imagined that a gust of wind wafting across a Wyoming plain could power an air conditioner as far off as Southern California? But it very well may be happening soon. This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise speaks with Shalini Ramanathan, a Texas-based wind energy consultant who gives us a peek into new advances in the wind industry and how these are enabling wind to blow open our nation’s interstate power grid.
Then, we hear from the mayor of Sebastopol, California, Michael Kyes, who told us last year about how his town passed some controversial, yet effective solar power ordinances to get off of fossil fuels and make this humble municipality a trailblazer in the shift to sustainability.
Promoters and detractors of wind power have one point of agreement – both see the transmission lines that carry wind energy as inefficient and very expensive to build. If wind power is going to fulfill its potential as the natural, pristine and infinitely renewable energy source that it could be, this obstacle will have to be overcome.
This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, Michael Skelly, has a solution that he thinks will move us past the transmission obstacle and into an era of efficient wind power use and transfer. His company, Clean Line Energy Partners, believes it has a better way to transport wind energy, using a new technology based on the old standard direct current electricity: high voltage direct current transmission lines. Listen now as Skelly describes to host Alex Wise how a 19th century technology may be the answer to the 21st century energy question.