Energy

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

    

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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Education
5:04 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Duke Trustee Donates $5.5 Million For Energy Initiative

Duke University
Credit Duke University

Duke University trustee Ralph Eads and his wife are giving $5.5 million dollars to the school, most of it going to support Duke's Energy Initiative. Part of it will go toward the creation of the new Eads Professor of the Practice in Energy Finance.

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The State Of Things
12:24 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Conference Explores North Carolina’s Energy Future

Strata Solar's Solar Farm in Fuquay Varina.
Credit http://www.stratasolar.com / Strata Solar

North Carolina companies are in the midst of a sustainable energy boom. Solar farms have bloomed, wind farms could be on their way, and local entrepreneurs are experimenting with biofuels and solar power. But cheap natural gas and new legislation could slow sustainable energy growth.

Experts are discussing these advancements at the North Carolina Department of Commerce's 10th Annual Sustainable Energy Conference in Raleigh today. Keynote speaker Marilyn Brown is a professor from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She said today on The State of Things that many people are looking to fracking for natural gas to solve our energy needs.

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Energy
10:50 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Group Says 'Cogeneration' Could Save Energy

CHP system at UNC
Credit www.southeastcleanenergy.org

Energy watchdog group NC WARN is asking state utilities commissioners to look at an alternative way for companies to generate electrical power.  NC WARN sent a report to commissioners outlining a process called "cogeneration” that allows businesses to use an on-site turbine to generate electricity and capture escaping heat.  The group's report says doing that can drop the rate of wasted energy from 55 percent to as low as 20 percent.

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Energy
12:59 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Prospecting For Wind And Sun On The OBX

Dominion North Carolina Power plans to study the prospect of wind and solar energy on the Outer Banks for small-scale power grids.  The utility is launching a three-year research project at its office in Kitty Hawk. The plans include four wind turbines, solar panels and a storage battery that will work to reduce the amount of power the office pulls from the grid.  Project manager Sarah Cosby says that network creates a so-called micro-grid that could be useful for small communities during power outages.

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Environment
6:30 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Lee County Residents Ponder Fracking

Lee County is one of a handful of central North Carolina areas known to have natural gas reserves. Ever since state legislators passed a law to allow the horizontal drilling method of extracting natural gas known as fracking, county residents have been wondering when and if they’ll see gas wells sprouting up in their backyards. People in the community are divided over what fracking could mean for them.

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Environment
6:05 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Accelerating Electric Cars Into More Cities

Transportation officials from eight states are meeting in Raleigh today to brainstorm how to accelerate the use of electric cars.

Asma Khalid: If you drive around Raleigh-Durham, you've probably noticed a few electric car charging stations.  But, that's not typical for most states. Since January 2011, approximately 30,000 electric vehicles have been sold in the entire country. So, clearly the Triangle is ahead of the curve. Judi Greenwald is with the center for Climate and Energy Solutions. Her group is cosponsoring the Raleigh meetings.

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