renewable energy

Alice Walker, the author of the The Color Purple, turns 75 this Saturday. The Georgia Writers Museum, a nonprofit organization and exhibit space that educates the public about the state’s rich literary heritage, will host a one-day celebration of Walker’s birthday. Valerie Boyd, editor of Walker’s forthcoming journals, joined On Second Thought to talk about Alice Walker’s legacy.


Emily Jones / GPB News

If there’s one thing Georgia has a ton of — actually a billion tons — it’s trees. The state leads the country in acres of private timberland and volume of timber harvested. Some in the timber industry think we should turn more of that wood into electricity. 


Rick Bowmer / AP

Transportation — trucks, trains, planes and automobiles — is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Electric vehicles offer a less polluting alternative. That, and reduced fuel costs are strong selling points. Limited battery range is not.

But shorter distances, and those savings, work for many local governments. Last month, Savannah added two new electric cars to its city fleet. Nick Deffley is the director of Savannah's Office of Sustainability. He joined On Second Thought from GPB's studio in Savannah to talk about how the city began its transition to electric vehicles.


Wikimedia Commons

Last month, the Atlanta City Council approved an ambitious goal: to rely solely on renewable energy by 2035. Another city that’s taken the lead with renewables is Las Vegas. The city recently met its goal for all city services to completely rely on renewable energy like wind and solar.

Wind power is the largest source of renewable energy in the United States. But a broad swath of the country has had no large, commercial wind farms — until now. A new one with 104 towers is up and running near Elizabeth City, N.C., where it spans 22,000 acres.

When a solar company wants to test new technology, they bring their panels to the National Renewable Energy Lab near Denver. It's a place where federal scientists can measure how powerful and long-lasting solar panels are, so consumers know what they are buying.

"A lot of times maybe people don't even know how to evaluate new technologies appropriately. And so we have a lot of insight and knowledge into the market that can help with some of those decisions," lab engineer Chris Deline explained.