Energy

Word of Mouth
9:23 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Learning To Live Without A.C.

Credit Istvanski via Flickr Creative Commons

The heat wave that blanketed the east coast in mid-July was the longest to hit New York City in a decade. Not surprisingly, the Big Apple broke records for energy usage, as sweltering city-dwellers turned up the AC.  The US leads the world in climate control – but at a significant financial and environmental cost.  Leon Neyfakh is a reporter for the Ideas section of the Boston Globe – and author of the article “How to Live Without Air Conditioning”.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Citizens For Affordable Energy Founder And CEO, John Hofmeister (Rebroadcast)

Former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister calls for a complete re-think on energy policy. Hofmeister currently heads the group “Citizens for Affordable Energy.” He says investing in twenty-first century energies is the only stimulus our economy needs. But that won’t happen, he says, unless private industry takes the reins and government gets largely out of the way.

Guest

John Hofmeister - Founder and CEO, Citizens for Affordable Energy and former Shell Oil President.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Wed June 12, 2013

NH Energy Wars

Fifteen years ago, New Hampshire embarked on a dramatic experiment, deregulating electricity. The idea was to bring competition to power production; a sector where typically just a handful of highly-regulated utilities dominated. These days, Granite Staters are being pursued by a variety of power suppliers, from all over.  And their efforts are paying off, with more and morer customers switching from the state’s largest utility, PSNH to new providers.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Tue May 21, 2013

An Updated Energy Plan For The Granite State?

With lots of proposals on the table right now, from biomass to wind to hydropower, efforts are underway once again to develop a statewide plan and judge these projects with that broader frame of reference in mind.   But it’s not an easy process, taking into account various concerns from the environment to property values to energy costs.  

Guests

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Citizens For Affordable Energy Founder And CEO, John Hofmeister

Former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister calls for a complete re-think on energy policy.  Hofmeister currently heads the group “Citizens for Affordable Energy.” He says investing in twenty-first century energies is the only stimulus our economy needs.  But that won’t happen, he says, unless private industry takes the reins and government gets largely out of the way.

Guest

John Hofmeister - Founder and CEO, Citizens for Affordable Energy and former Shell Oil President.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Wed February 20, 2013

How Much Energy Is Too Much Energy?

Vermont editor Tom Butler says no matter how energy efficient we become, there’s a limit to our consumption, even with renewable green sources. Instead, he says, we must recognize the true costs of our relentless search for resources to power perpetual growth. We’ll look at this idea and others presented in a sweeping new book called Energy.

Guest

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Environment
4:55 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

The Micro-Grid: The Grid Gold Standard?

Clay Mitchell from Revolution Energy surveys the 60 kW solar array at East Kingston Elementary school. Despite cold temperatures the week before, the panels give off enough heat that most of the snow has slide right off.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

For the most dedicated environmentalists, small scale renewables, right in our back-yard are the gold standard of energy generation. In the final installment of this weeklong look at New Hampshire’s energy future, we consider what a more distributed grid might look like.

Along with smart-grid, micro-grid is the newest buzz word in the energy world. Basically it’s a little island of power lines coupled with its own source of energy, that is still wired into the broader grid. They’re not totally self-sufficient but can generate their own electricity for short bursts when needed.

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Environment
5:19 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Flattening The Curve: Moving To A Two-Way Grid

This is SustainX's prototype of a 40 kW compressed air storage system in their facility in Seabrook. This machine has since been cannibalized to create a much larger 2 MW prototype. These machines can be used to smooth demand, either from renewables or for large electric users trying to save some money off peak energy rates.
Credit Eugene Hunt / SustainX

The energy grid is vastly more complicated than it was ten years ago. The old model was to plug in and pay for what you use, but now the grid is starting to ask for something back from consumers. This change is aimed at flatten the demand curve.

Think about how you use electricity: you wake up, turn on some lights, and maybe have a hot shower. After work you come home, cook some dinner, and watch TV. In the winter, maybe you heat with some kind of electric heat, or – even more likely – maybe in the summer you switch on AC.

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Environment
3:00 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Decarbonizing The Grid: Where Are We?

Cellulose insulation is piped from a Bruss Construction trailer into the attic of an old, drafty home in Hopkinton, NH
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

New Hampshire’s energy grid relies heavily on fossil fuels like oil and coal, and getting the grid off of those fuels will be a major hurdle in addressing the challenge of global warming.

But here in New Hampshire, it’s proving a steep challenge to get carbon out of the electric supply, without breaking the bank for customers or utilities. But that doesn’t mean that people aren’t trying. As part of a weeklong look at New Hampshire’s Energy Future, we ask what’s being done about CO2?

Efficiency First

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NH News
5:30 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Lawmakers Want To Reshape Energy Permitting In N.H.

The controversial Northern Pass project is one of the inspirations of a set of bills up for consideration this year that would reshape how the state considers and approves energy projects.

Proposed energy projects are causing a stir among New Hampshire lawmakers. Lawmakers will consider a raft of bills that would change how the state considers and approves such installations.

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Word of Mouth
12:36 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Yucca Mountain High

View of Yucca Mountain
Credit NRCgov via Flickr Creative Commons


Energy is big business and a big issue inextricably linked to politics. Rising gas prices and huge natural gas and oil finds in the U.S. thrust energy into the 2012 presidential arena, but little was said about nuclear power—which supplies about a fifth of America’s power. Although some environmentalists are now advocating for nukes, the question of how to safely isolate existing waste has been plaguing the industry and government for decades.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Wind Power Takes A New Turn In The Granite State

Wind farm being built in Groton, NH
Credit Donna Hiltz / NHPR

A proposed wind farm in the Newfound lake area has once again raised familiar themes in New Hampsire:  A desire for the Granite state to use more clean energy, versus local concerns over property values, as well as impacts on the environment and tourism.  We’ll re-examine these arguments in light of this new proposal. 

Guests

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EarthTalk
10:58 am
Mon August 13, 2012

What Can We Do to Reduce Our Light Footprint?

The federally funded National Optical Astronomy Observatory reports that poorly-aimed, unshielded outdoor lights waste 17.4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in the U.S. each year.
Brand X Pictures

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Has anyone calculated the energy wasted at night by unnecessary lighting in and around buildings? What can we do to reduce our light footprint?       -- Bill Rehkamp, via e-mail

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Word of Mouth
11:24 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Skating on Ice Made by the Sun

(Photo by Sarah Reynolds)

As summer hits Cape Cod, out come the fishing rods, sailboats, and…. Hockey pucks?  In Falmouth, Massachusetts, youth hockey leagues and recreational skaters are carving up the ice in a brand new ice rink this month – one that’s powered by summer sunlight.  Independent producer Sarah Reynolds has the story.

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The Exchange
2:33 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Room for Improvement on Energy Efficiency

Matti Mattila via Flickr Creative Commons

 

How energy efficient is the Granite State? A new reports says not very, at least in terms of our buildings. Three years after Governor Lynch issued a Climate Action Plan, which included a call for more efficient homes and offices, UNH researchers find the state is way behind where it had hoped to be. We're examining what the problems are, as well as the prospects for future improvement.

Guests:

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