Energy

Business & Economy
12:15 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

PSNC Considers Historic Barns, Gravesites In New Pipeline Route

PSNC is considering routes to extend a natural gas pipeline in Wake and Franklin Counties.
Credit Harald Hoyer / Creative Commons

PSNC Energy is taking feedback from property owners about plans to lay a natural gas pipeline. The company wants to extend an existing transmission line from Northern Wake County into Eastern Franklin County and south to Zebulon.

PSNC Spokeswoman Angela Townsend said the company is working to keep up with anticipated population growth in the area. She did not comment on the projected increase of customers or pipeline capacity. Townsend said the extension would be up to 29 miles long.

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Business & Economy
7:46 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Garbage Power: Landfill Generates Enough Energy For 4,000 Homes

Gasses produced inside the South Wake Landfill are being used generate power for Duke Energy's grid.
Credit Rebecca Martinez / WUNC

The South Wake Landfill in Apex is putting its garbage to work. Wake County recently hosted an open house for its landfill gas power plant.

Solid Waste Director John Roberson said the plant is making money and producing electricity from the garbage that's decomposing inside the dump and cutting down on bad smells there.

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Politics & Government
8:11 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

NC Senate Wants Fracking In The State By July 2015, But House May Not Be Ready

Drilling companies would possibly extract natural gas from Lee County.
Credit Donald Lee Pardue via Flickr

The North Carolina Senate has tentatively approved legislation that would lift the state’s de-facto moratorium on hydraulic fracturing next year, but will likely be challenged by the House of Representatives and Governor Pat McCrory.

The bill, known as the Energy Modernization Act, calls for the state to start issuing permits for drilling companies to extract natural gas through the controversial drilling method known as fracking on July 1, 2015.

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The State of Things
12:11 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Energy Consumption And Climate Change As National Security Threats

Airmen lay sandbags to protect against a flooding disaster in MO in 2011.
Credit Dept. of Defense

Climate change and the way we use energy are threats to national security, according to group of U.S. military generals at the nonprofit CNA Corporation.

Their research shows stronger storms will likely divert more troops to humanitarian missions and American dependence on fossil fuels forces convoys to routinely transport fuel through dangerous areas.

Host Frank Stasio talks with retired Lt. Gen. Richard Zilmer, a member of the Military Advisory Board at CNA Corporation.

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Environment
8:40 am
Wed April 16, 2014

North Carolina’s Rules On Fracking To Be Completed This Year, Well Permits To Be Issued Next Year

A drilling site in Rio Blanco and Garfield counties, CO.
Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service via Flickr

The commission that’s writing North Carolina’s rules on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, or fracking, is getting ready to present its recommendations to the General Assembly. The Mining and Energy Commission has been working since Sept. 2012, and today will debate the last eight rules it is preparing.

A few people like Sharon Garbutt have been following the Mining and Energy Commission. Garbutt has been volunteering to take children on field trips to the Haw River for 20 years. Most of the time, the kids love it.

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Business & Economy
5:00 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Duke And Piedmont Want Another Gas Pipeline

Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas are asking for proposals to build and operate another major natural gas pipeline into North Carolina.
Credit Harald Hoyer / Creative Commons

Two major energy companies want to build a second natural gas pipeline into North Carolina.

Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas are soliciting proposals for a pipeline that could carry 900 million cubic feet of gas per day.

Duke is shifting a significant portion of its energy portfolio from coal into natural gas. Piedmont transports gas for both companies via the Transco line from the Texas gulf.

Piedmont spokesman David Trusty said production was interrupted after Hurricane Katrina. He says the companies want to be able to diversify their natural gas sources.

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The State of Things
10:32 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Meet Daniel Vermeer

Dan Vermeer Executive Director of the Center for Energy Development and the Global Environment
Credit fuqua.duke.edu / Center for Energy Development and the Global Environment

Meet Daniel Vermeer, director of the Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business

    

When he graduated from college, Daniel Vermeer did not want a job. He wanted only to wander through Asia and continue learning about world religions. But his adventures led him to some unexpected destinations, including corporate America. He led water sustainability projects for Coca-Cola and advised Fortune 50 companies on their water policies. 

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Politics & Government
9:58 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Panel Recommends Fracking Companies Maintain Some Chemical Secrets

A rig and gas well operation at the Marcellus Shale.
Credit wcn 247 / Flickr

The panel that is writing the rules that may become North Carolina’s fracking laws will not require drilling companies to disclose which chemicals they use to extract gas.

Members of the Energy and Mining Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve the rule, which stumped them for more than a year and drew  input from environmental and business groups.

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Science & Technology
8:47 am
Wed January 8, 2014

NC State Researchers Develop Cheap Biofuel Production Without Touching Food Supply

NC State researchers have developed a new process that dissolves lignin in liquid salt, leaving cellulose behind as a solid. This process could make biofuels cheaper to produce.
Credit Ezinne Achinvu / North Carolina State University

As corn prices rise and ethanol production competes with food sources, the energy industry is looking for other ways to produce biofuels.

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a simple, efficient and inexpensive way to extract energy-rich cellulose from non-edible plant matter, like corn husks, grasses, and wood chips.

PhD student Ezinne Achinivu  says labs often run into trouble trying to remove a protective material called lignin. It's bonded to the cellulose, but hinders its efficiency.

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Business & Economy
8:59 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Duke Energy Offers Renewable Energy Option To Big Customers

Credit Duke Energy

Duke Energy is introducing a program to provide its largest customers with renewable power.   The utility's 'Green Source Rider' initiative would give companies that use large amounts of power an option to use renewable energy in their new or expanded facilities.

Duke Energy will ask participating customers what their new power preference is: wind, solar or some other source.  Spokesman Jeff Brooks says it's then up to the utility to find them ample amounts..

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