Week of 8.7.09
Power StruggleFind out why the green energy dream may not happen.
It appears that your computer does not have the Flash Player required to view NOW videos. Visit Adobe to download and install the latest version of the Flash Player.Will the green energy dream come to fruition? This week NOW explores obstacles to the promise of renewables—energy generated from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, and rain.
As America looks to dramatically increase its use of renewable energy, an inconvenient reality stands in the way: the need to upgrade the country's antiquated electricity grid. Part of that overhaul involves the construction of gigantic and expensive long-distance transmission lines to carry clean energy from remote sites to population centers.
NOW travels to California, which has the most ambitious clean energy plan in the nation. But the state's efforts face stiff opposition from property owners and conservationists who prefer renewable energy from "local sources," such as photovoltaic rooftop solar panels.
Complicating the matter are claims that the transmission lines are not actually carrying renewable energy at all, but represent a thinly-disguised strategy to stick to old energy practices.
This show was originally broadcast on January 16, 2009.
In the News
The LA Times: Solar farm cuts gap with fossil fuel
The LA Times: Debate over Sunrise Powerlink may be near decision
The San Diego Union Tribune: 'Renewables' a magic word to sell public on Powerlink
Scientific American: How does solar power work?
Scientific American: Offshore Wind May Power the Future
NOVA: The Big Energy Gamble: Can California's ambitious plan to cut greenhouse gases actually succeed?
San Diego Engineer Bill Powers' "Smart Energy Report," about the potential of generating solar power locally.
San Diego Gas and Electric on the Sunrise Powerlink transmission line, including links to maps of the transmission line.
The Desert Protective Council: Sunrise Powerlink: A Battle for California's Energy Future
Cathy Zoi's plan to fight global warming, "We Can Solve It"
Communities United for Sensible Power, a community group opposed to the Sunrise Powerlink Transmission Line.
Balancing Renewable Energy Development and Land Conservation in a Warming World (pdf), joint statement by key envioronmental groups.
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Commenter: Erich Riesenberg
Commenter: Miriam Raftery
Commenter: Tony Rex
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Commenter: Ed from Iowa
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Commenter: Henry Brown
Commenter: Kay Pingsterhaus
Commenter: Kathy Williamson
Commenter: Stephen T. Skokowski
Commenter: Umberto Brayj
Commenter: Dave Baldwin
Commenter: Jerry R. Booker
Commenter: Hans Kindt
Commenter: Bob Bond
Commenter: Cameron Johnson
Commenter: Gilbert Martinez
Commenter: Bobo Amerigo
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Slideshow: Behind the Scenes
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How Green is Your College?
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