WYSO

Energy

solar panels on roof
Chris Kantos / Flickr Creative Commons

Politicians in Ohio and around the country  are struggling to articulate new energy policies.  Renewables are booming and becoming cheaper, but shale oil and gas are on the rise as well. How will the energy system of the future look?  Sustainability commentator Bob Brecha has some ideas about pitfalls to avoid.

Garry Knight / Flickr Creative Commons

The 2016 presidential campaign often focused on immigration issues, but there was very little talk about energy or climate change.  Sustainability commentator Bob Brecha thinks we should be talking about all of these issues, and tying them together when trying to come up with solutions.

The Greening of China?

Jan 22, 2017

As the world considers how to respond to climate change, China has emerged as the great paradox. With its fast-growing economy, China has become the leading producer of CO2 (though not on a per-capita basis). Simultaneously, it has become the world's leading producer of green and renewable energy.

Are We Heading for a Hydropower Boom on the Three Rivers?

Dec 12, 2016
The hydroelectric power station at the Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River (pictured above) is one of the larger hydropower projects in Pennsylvania—generating enough electricity to power 400,000 homes.
Michael Scialdone / Flickr Creative Commons

Behind a chain link fence, Paul Jacob watches water spill over a dam on Neville Island—a 1,200-acre stretch of land in the Ohio River near Pittsburgh that’s a hive of industrial lots and chemical plants. But to Jacob, the white froth at the base of the Emsworth Back Channel dam—built in 1936—represents an opportunity.

“The water over that dam—that basically is unused energy,” Jacob says. “You’ve got a substantial flow of water.”

Kym Farnik / Flickr Creative Commons

The role of coal as an energy source is diminishing in this country.  Ten years ago, half of the electricity in this country came from burning coal, but today, that number has dropped to one third. The coal companies have claimed that the Obama administration is waging a WAR on Coal .   But sustainability commentator Bob Brecha isn’t so sure.

It's been 27 years since the Fernald Feed Materials Production Site in southwest Ohio closed down. Ten years ago this weekend, the work to replace the contaminated uranium plant with a nature preserve wrapped up.  For Ohio Public Radio, WVXU's Bill Rinehart looks at the 1-thousand-fifty acre site and what happened to return it to its natural state.

The Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management is hosting an event October 29 to remember the cleanup and to showcase the Preserve. It's from 10 to 2 at the visitors center on Willey Road.

How Labor and Environmental Groups Are Finding Common Ground

Jul 4, 2016
John Stamets via Flickr

When you think of an environmental hero, a plumber might not be the first person who comes to mind. But this year, a union representing plumbers and pipefitters earned a “champion” award from a nationwide coalition of environmental and labor groups called the BlueGreen Alliance.

Duke Energy power lines, energy
Duke Energy

Ohioans could see a new charge in their electric bills as early as June, now that state regulators have approved plans by FirstEnergy and AEP to guarantee income for struggling coal plants. But while opponents are fighting the ruling, those utilities are touting the benefits.

Groups against the so-called coal plant bailout say the ruling from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio gives AEP and FirstEnergy an unfair competitive advantage.

But AEP President, Pablo Vegas, says his utility needed the ability to charge customers more in order to stabilize costs.

Duke Energy / Flickr Creative Commons

Regulators have approved a pair of deals that allow FirstEnergy and AEP to impose short-term rate increases on electricity customers in Ohio to subsidize some older coal-fired and nuclear power plants.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio unanimously passed the power purchase agreements for Akron-based FirstEnergy and Columbus-based AEP Thursday. Opponents are likely to challenge the decisions.

The companies submitted the latest versions of their plans to the commission in December.

New Proposal Aims To Derail Plans For Energy Rate Increase

Jan 14, 2016
Duke Energy power lines, energy
Duke Energy

Independent energy provider Dynegy's entrance into the the crowded Ohio energy market could affect competitors plans to raise rates. 

AEP and First Energy have asked state regulators to allow them to hike customers' bills to ensure energy production and guarantee income for their struggling coal plants through 2030. 

Texas-based Dynegy recently bought several coal and natural gas plants from Duke Energy. Now, the company says it can counter plans from AEP and FirstEnergy by offering the same amount of energy for $5 billion less.

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