We are fortunate to have Michael Wara as our guest in this episode—a bona fide expert on the subject who is a member of the state-appointed wildfire commission in California—to help us think through this complex web of issues and understand how to start plotting a new path into the future.
California is the fifth-largest economy in the world and likes to shout about its genius at innovation, but it is a victim of its lack of energy innovation. It’s a climate disaster zone, with the new reality of hotter, dryer conditions made far worse by the outdated power grid and corrupt private corporation in charge of distributing gas and electricity.
Many outlooks for a mostly renewable U.S. power grid include a lot more high-voltage transmission lines. But is this a realistic hope, considering how few of these lines we’ve built in recent years, and the many barriers they always seem to face?
On Saturday, we reported that a leaked draft of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s grid study obtained by Bloomberg debunks his attack on renewable energy. ThinkProgress has now obtained a copy of that draft, and it has many more surprises — or, rather, findings that are fairly well known to energy experts but may come as an unpleasant surprise to Perry and the White House.
Rethinking the grid is quickly emerging as one of the hottest topics.
The U.S. power grid is a vital part of the nation’s infrastructure. It’s also a wasteful one. Now, a new start-up is looking to solve both of these inefficiencies at once by reducing utilities’ excess power production while turning dormant lands into productive greenhouses.
Flood myths are common to human culture. Swollen rivers, tidal storms, and tsunamis make their appearance frequently in literature. But Hurricane Sandy, which has drawn newly etched high-water marks on the buildings of lower Manhattan (and Brooklyn), has shifted the discussion from storytelling to reality.