Daily VideoFebruary 2, 2015
Burlington is first U.S. city to hit 100 percent renewable energy
Vermont’s largest city just became the first in the U.S. to use 100 percent renewable energy, in a move that they say could serve as a model for the rest of the country.
Burlington’s switch to renewable energy will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save $20 million over the next 20 years and keep energy prices stable, according to Ken Nolan, manager of power resources for Burlington Electric.
The move is only one part of a solution for climate change, according to Taylor Ricketts, professor of Environmental Science at the University of Vermont. “Climate change is the biggest problem we face, maybe the biggest problem we’ve ever faced. But there’s no silver bullet to fix it,” he said.
The city produces most of its energy through hydropower, which harnesses the water pressure from underground turbines to generate electricity. 30 percent comes from a biomass facility, which burns scrap wood and creates energy by converting the heat into steam. Wind turbines produce another 20 percent.
Vermont hopes to spread Burlington’s success to other cities, Ricketts said. “There’s nothing magic about Burlington,” he said.
Burlington is currently using older facilities that don’t work as efficiently as newer ones, but the city must prove that its renewable methods are effective before investing in new facilities, Nolan said.
Warm up questions
- When you turn on the lights or charge your phone, where does the electricity come from?
- What is renewable energy?
Critical thinking questions
- If using 100 percent renewable energy will save money, why don’t all cities do it? What are the barriers to switching to renewable energy?
- What is your city doing to address the effects of climate change?
- What control do local, state and the federal governments have on energy policy?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
February 19, 2017, marked the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s controversial executive order, which allowed the government to incarcerate Japanese Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Dozens of cities throughout the United States have been deemed “sanctuary cities,” where local governments resist cooperating with federal immigration officials, including handing over undocumented immigrants who have may committed very minor offenses. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
In order to address the homelessness problem facing students, a school district in Kansas City, Kansas, with over 1,000 homeless students, partnered with Avenue of Life, a nonprofit organization that brings students out of homelessness by supporting the entire family. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
In places where violent conflict makes it difficult for human rights investigators to observe, social media platforms now make it possible to document abuses.Arts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
In an interview with PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan said he is getting along well with President Donald Trump, although he disagrees with some of the President’s recent statements. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld