What do you think of when you hear the word, “billionaires?” Ruthless capitalists? Decadent narcissists? Evil cheese-puffs? What about renewable power? Well, today on Sea Change Radio we hear from Sammy Roth, energy reporter for The Desert Sun, who recently wrote a three-part series about how some American billionaires with deep roots in the fossil fuel industry, are planning bold clean power initiatives. We talk about the enormous wind farm that conservative tycoon Philip Anschutz hopes to build in Wyoming, discuss the efforts that famed investor Warren Buffett is making to enter California’s electricity marketplace, and learn what “balancing authorities” are and the role they play in our electric grid. Is what’s happening in the West just another capitalist scheme to benefit the 1%, or might these moves actually reduce climate pollution and lower energy bills?
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.
You probably remember the Cape Wind project. It is America’s first offshore wind farm, located in Nantucket Sound, but coastal residents who considered it an eyesore have been anything but breezy, costing the project dearly in delays and dollars. This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio has a model for offshore wind power that can bypass the objections of the “not-in-my-beachview” crowd.
Host Alex Wise talks with Dr. Habib Dagher who manages the DeepCWind Consortium, a floating wind turbine project which is scheduled to launch off the coast of Maine in the summer of 2013. Unlike the Cape Wind project, this offshore wind project is floating, and it’s far enough away from land that it can’t be seen from the coast. Dr. Dagher talks about the exciting solution that floating turbines could offer, the magnitude of this technology’s capacity for energy capture, and some of the challenges facing the offshore wind industry on the whole.
This week on Sea Change Radio, Part 2 of our 2-part series on wind power. First, we hear again from US Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-11), the only member of either House who’s also a wind power engineer. Next, the US is lagging far behind Europe in the move toward renewable energy sources. To find out why, host Alex Wise talks once more to Michael Payne, a veteran wind power executive who’s served as Shell WindEnergy’s General Manager of Europe & Asia as well as a Director at Enron Wind. Payne offers his perspective on the policy and business factors that will help direct the winds of change. Continue reading
This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise speaks with Rep. Jerry McNerney of California’s 11th District, a former wind energy engineer who is helping build bridges to an America powered by clean energy. Then we hear from Ted Reiff, whose non-profit organization, The ReUse People, is a pioneer in the deconstruction industry, enabling cast-off materials to be reused in building projects around the country. Today on Sea Change Radio, building a sustainability infrastructure and creating a vision for sustainable building.
The wind – it flies our kites and fills our sails, and, since the 7th Century, humans have been harnessing its power to pump water and mill grain. So how far have we come since then? The modern wind power industry didn’t really start until the late 70s, yet over the past three years worldwide wind-powered energy generation has doubled. But this endlessly renewable power source is still relatively untapped and only accounts for about 2% of global electricity usage.
This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from two wind power executives about the burgeoning potential of wind. First, host Alex Wise talks to Michael Payne, a 15-year veteran of the industry who’s helped develop some of the world’s largest wind energy projects in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He tells us about the technical, environmental and regulatory hurdles that the industry faces. Next, we speak with Corwin Hardham, the CEO of Makani Power. This company, whose name means wind in Hawaiian, is developing a cutting-edge way to capture the power of the wind using airborne wind turbines that fly like kites and generate more power than conventional earthbound turbines.
Welcome to the final episode in our Sea Change series, Back to the Future. Journalist and policy strategist David Bollier tells us about the idea of the commons; wind energy expert Patrick Quinlan talks about wind power in Massachusetts and how it has become a battleground over competing definitions of the commons; wind developer Dan Juhl talks about community wind power; and historian Kerry Buckley sums up the lessons of our series. Continue reading