Cover image of Clean Power Planet: Fighting Climate Change

Clean Power Planet: Fighting Climate Change

This is the podcast for people that can't wait to switch to renewable energy. Each episode includes an interview with someone who is fighting climate change with clean power.

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Utilities Were Given Monopolies to Serve the Public


17 Jul 2015

Rank #1

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Solar Energy in Texas State Parks - Andee Chamberlain

Andee Chamberlain has been the Sustainability Programs Manager with Texas Parks and Wildlife since 2009 and she’ll be talking with us about her success finding ways to install solar in Texas parks all while fighting tight budgets, climate change and invasive crazy ants.


16 Oct 2018

Rank #2

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Solar Energy International is moving Solar Forward in rural Colorado - Mary Marshall

Mary Marshall studied journalism in college and then jumped right into a career in television news, working on NBC’s Dateline and Nightly News with Lester Holt. But she became disillusioned and wanted to do something more meaningful. So she took a walk to clear her head. Actually she hiked 500 miles of the Appalachian trail by herself. When she got off the trail she signed up for AmeriCorps and discovered Solar Energy International (SEI). Mary’s AmeriCorps VISTA project at SEI involved community outreach efforts in Delta County, Colorado where SEI is located. The goal was to bring jobs and clean energy to small towns in the county that were suffering from recent coal mine closures. After her AmeriCorps project she stayed on at SEI and is currently developing Solar Forward, a program with the goal of growing solar in rural communities across Colorado. I had the chance to talk with Mary in person at the American Solar Energy Society’s Solar 2018 Conference in Boulder.


14 Sep 2018

Rank #3

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Welcome to your Solar Tour: A Renewable Energy Field Trip


24 Oct 2015

Rank #4

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Karl Rábago: The full value of solar energy


30 Oct 2015

Rank #5

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From Energy Scarcity to Energy Abundance and American Power - Meghan O’Sullivan

Harvard professor and former Washington policymaker Meghan O’Sullivan was named the 2017 “Energy Writer of the Year” by the American Energy Society for her book Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America’s Power and for her New York Times commentary “How Trump Can Harness the U.S. Energy Boom.” That’s just the most recent line on her incredibly impressive resume. A couple of the highpoints include, her current role at Harvard University as Director of the Geopolitics of Energy Project. Before heading to academia she served several roles in government. Between 2004 and 2007, she was special assistant to President George W. Bush and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan. Windfall reveals how the transition from energy scarcity to energy abundance has transformed global politics and boosted American power. In this episode of Clean Power Planet we discuss the geopolitics of energy, which are still largely driven by fossil fuels, but we also dive in on the future of renewables, the pros and cons of natural gas as a bridge fuel, climate change and the need for carbon capture.

1hr 2mins

18 Jul 2018

Rank #6

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Nicole Capretz on San Diego’s Climate Action Plan


30 May 2015

Rank #7

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Confronting Climate Change with Creation Care - Tim Darst, Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light

Tim Darst is the Executive Director at Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light, an organization that’s mobilizing a religious response to climate change. They offer Creation Care Consulting to help churches choose the best options for getting started with conservation, efficiency and renewable energy. Tim had a comfortable career in accounting when he had a “lightbulb” moment that took him down a different path. I had a big epiphany when my youngest daughter and I were out playing golf, we were actually practicing golf one day, it was in the summer at a city park in Louisville and she made a really long putt, got really excited about it, started jumping up and down but then had trouble breathing. She couldn’t catch her breath and it went on and on where she was just gasping for air so I took her to the local emergency room and they put her on oxygen and I asked the nurse, “what’s going on” and she says, “well, it’s an ozone alert day” and you’re not supposed to be out in this. And it turns out that there are segments of our population that are more vulnerable to this and in the summer when we’re using a lot more air conditioning, we’re burning a lot more coal and natural gas than any other time of the year and when that combines with all the exhaust from our vehicles it creates ground level ozone. And that’s when I started realizing, okay this is a really serious issue and a lot of people are being impacted by this. So that really motivated me to make some changes. In this episode of Clean Power Planet we talk to Tim about how Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light helps churches get on board with the growing Creation Care movement.


16 Aug 2018

Rank #8

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Kentucky Beat Back the Utilities’ Attempt to Crush Rooftop Solar Two Years in a Row - Steve Ricketts of Solar Energy Solutions

Steve Ricketts is a partner in Solar Energy Solutions, the largest and oldest company in Kentucky’s fledgling solar installation industry. Steve and his partner Matt Partymiller and many other solar installers have been forced to drop everything and fight utility-sponsored anti-net metering bills during the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions. Kentucky is ranked 48th for solar friendly policies by SolarPowerRocks.com. In fact the only policy that keeps Kentucky out of last place is a relatively weak net metering policy. The system size is limited to 30 KW and the total amount of solar that can be installed on any utility’s system is capped at 1% of peak load. Existing systems are a long way from hitting that cap. So, why did the utilities feel the need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbyists and PR agencies to try to demolish this policy? Steve provides some insight into the utilities’ tactics and offers advice for future net metering battles in Kentucky and other states.


15 Jun 2018

Rank #9

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John Perlin – The History of Solar Energy


12 Mar 2016

Rank #10

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Not the Center of the Renewable Energy Universe


22 May 2015

Rank #11

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Solar Energy is Contagious - Lucy Stolzenburg, Texas Solar Energy Society


6 Nov 2015

Rank #12

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Clean Energy Credit Union putting the green in green energy

Blake Jones was an Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2010. You could even describe him as a serial-entrepreneur. But it would be more accurate to say that he is a serial cooperative co-founder. He co-founded Namasté Solar, an employee-owned cooperative and certified B-Corp that has installed over 5,000 solar electric systems. He co-founded Amicus Solar Cooperative, a purchasing cooperative and certified B-Corp that’s democratically owned by 48+ solar installation companies. And most recently he co-founded Clean Energy Credit Union, a federally chartered, not-for-profit, and online-only financial services cooperative that provides loans solely to help consumers throughout the USA afford to pursue clean energy, energy efficiency, and energy conservation projects. In this episode of Clean Power Planet we talk to Blake about the Clean Energy Credit Union and its potential for helping make renewable energy projects more affordable. We also talk about co-ops and the “revolutionary” idea that capitalism should be democratic.


2 Aug 2018

Rank #13

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Citizen Lobbying for Rooftop Solar - Lane Boldman

Lane Boldman is not your stereotypical lobbyist. She is Executive Director of the Kentucky Conservation Committee (KCC), an organization that tracks legislation that impacts Kentucky’s environment and natural resources. In the current political climate it’s a tough job. Every year there are a large number of bills designed to roll back or weaken environmental protections. KCC analyzes every piece of legislation that could have a positive or negative impact on the environment. They make recommendations on each of the bills and work to get the word out so people know how they will be affected if the bills pass into law. Even when the legislative session isn’t underway Lane is there in the capital helping organizations and individuals that want to make their voices heard. She provides coaching, sets up meetings with legislators and helps citizen lobbyists navigate the maze of state politics. During the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions KCC was at the center of the fight over net metering in Kentucky. The utilities introduced bills that would have dismantled net metering and destroyed the state’s small rooftop solar businesses in the process. In this episode of Clean Power Planet Lane describes Kentucky’s net metering fight and walks us through the tactics that allowed solar proponents to defeat both bills. We also talk about what needs to be done to prepare for another likely attack in 2019. Clean Power Planet is your renewable energy podcast. We want to hear your renewable energy stories.


28 Jul 2018

Rank #14

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Energy Efficiency: A Blower Door Test on a Tent


13 Jun 2015

Rank #15

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Jerry Bloom on Renewable Energy Evolution - Tree Hugger to Infrastructure


26 Jul 2015

Rank #16

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A Solar Power Podcast Partnership - American Solar Energy Society and Clean Power Planet

We’re very excited to announce that we’re partnering with the American Solar Energy Society for a series of interviews from their Solar 2018 conference in Boulder, Colorado. In this episode I’m talking with ASES Chair Lucas Dixon about the organization’s history and vision. ASES was created in 1954 by researchers at Bell Labs that had discovered the photovoltaic effect of silicon. They quickly understood the potential impact of photovoltaics in combination with proven technologies like passive solar design and solar thermal. They understood that we could start down a path toward a more peaceful and sustainable energy economy. ASES was founded to allow them to publish their research and build a community of like-minded scientists and educators that would help develop and promote all solar technologies. Now the solar industry is growing by leaps and bounds and regularly exceeding projections for capacity and reduced costs. And yet there is still a lot of work to do before we reach that peaceful and sustainable energy economy. Today ASES is focused on the goal of achieving 100% renewable energy and sustainable living for the benefit of all life on Earth. If that sounds like a good idea to you go to ases.org and become a member today.


31 Aug 2018

Rank #17

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An Energy State: The State of Renewable Energy in Pennsylvania


12 Sep 2015

Rank #18

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DIY Wind Turbines - Solar Jim and Sustainable Jack

Our guests today are Chris Carter and Jack Martin, also known as Solar Jim and Sustainable Jack. Chris is a performing artist and sculptor with 20 years of experience designing and installing standalone power systems. Jack is a professor in sustainable technologies at Appalachian State University, and together they’re pioneers of DIY wind turbines and co-hosts of their own radio show, The Home Power Hour, where they discuss homemade wind turbines, alternative energy and environmental issues. They also teach Home Brew Wind Turbine workshops at the Handy Village Institute in central North Carolina. This episode of Clean Power Planet is brought to you in partnership with the American Solar Energy Society. ASES advocates for sustainable living and 100% renewable energy. They bring scientists, policy-makers, business people and citizens together to share knowledge and community. You can join ASES at https://www.ases.org/.


9 Jan 2019

Rank #19

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One in Seven People Live Without Electricity - Ben Bunker

Ben Bunker is the CEO of the Global BrightLight Foundation, which provides access to affordable solar-powered lights to people living without access to electricity. Many of the people that they help live in very rural areas. They rely on kerosene, candles or even wood chips for light. BrightLight’s vision is a world with universal access to clean, sustainable, and affordable energy. Ben: You know, those of us who have had the power go out before, whether because of a storm or something going wrong with the utilities, we’ve had this experience together but often it’s not one that’s a prolonged experience, maybe one or two days, maybe a week if you’re unlucky without power. And most of us resort to candles, flashlights or batteries. And so for a billion people around the world that’s actually every single day. It moves from being a minor inconvenience to something that significantly impacts their life in a series of different negative ways. I’ll give a couple of examples. One is economics. Some folks are spending up to 25% of their income on candles or kerosene or batteries every single month. When you only make $100 and you’re living in Guatemala or Peru, that $25 represents a significant amount of your income. David: So, you said over a billion people? Ben: Yes. David: And there are what, 7 billion people on the planet? Ben: Every day there’s more but that’s a good round number. David: So this is one out of every 7 people that doesn’t have electricity. Ben: Whether you’re in a waiting room or you’re in traffic or wherever you are just imagine that one out of every seven of those people is going to go home to a house without electricity and is going to have to endure a series of hardships because of that. Our work is focused primarily in Guatemala and Peru and we work in rural areas where most folks are day laborers or do some sort of farming often either as an employee of a larger agricultural operation or just to survive on their own. And these folks in the rural areas are usually somewhere between 5 to 10 hours or even a day away from the nearest town that has electricity. So, let’s say on an average day someone could get up, go into the fields, work on their harvest, come home and then probably have between 30 minutes to one hour of sunlight left, if they’re lucky. Often they work until sundown because they’re using all the productive light they have. And then when they get home, as I mentioned, they’re using candles and kerosene, so the house is almost completely black. To move around from room to room they actually have to pick up this light source and carry it with them. It’s a very dark way to live, not just in terms of the amount of light but also in the quality of the connections you can build because if you think about the time you spend with your family in the evenings that is all predicated on having light to bring together the community and the family. Not that folks don’t do that but it’s just a little harder when everything’s dark. David: I can’t even really imagine what that’s like. Please listen to the episode for the full interview. To learn more about the Global BrightLight Foundation or make a donation go to https://globalbrightlight.org/. Your gift will light a light. This episode of Clean Power Planet is brought to you in partnership with the American Solar Energy Society. ASES advocates for sustainable living and 100% renewable energy. They bring scientists, policy-makers, business people and citizens together to share knowledge and community. You can join ASES at https://www.ases.org/.


21 Dec 2018

Rank #20