Flashpoint: Solar Could Power Half of Appalachia

first_imgNo doubt you’ve heard the excuses from certain lawmakers and their benefactors in the petrochemical industrial complex: Forget renewable energy. Especially solar. The technology isn’t there and it’s too expensive and it’s really just pie-in-the-sky stuff for hippies.Investors disagree. Solar production has grown 900 percent in the past five years, and now even Wall Street has taken a shine to solar power. As a recent CitiGroup investment report put it, “Our viewpoint is that solar is here to stay.”Jeff Deal, senior project manager at the Appalachian Institute for Renewable Energy, says we already have the technology to power up to half of Appalachia with solar alone—and we can do it affordably, if we get our policies and priorities straight. We talked with him about the massive, unrealized potential of renewable energy.Why hasn’t solar energy been more widely adopted in Appalachia and around the country?The big problem right now is that there’s no way to finance it. To buy a solar system, you have to produce that money upfront—like $20,000 to $40,000. People love it in principle, but then they see the price tag and freak out. If you could buy renewables as easily as buying a car, it would be a different world.What is the long-term potential of solar?Colossal. Even though it’s not exactly Southern California, Appalachia gets enough sunlight to power 50 percent of its electricity demands.How can we change our public policies to encourage, rather than discourage, the use of solar?First, the government should make it legal for people to sell electricity to each other. A lot of our policies have been created to favor entrenched market forces like fossil fuel companies. For example, it’s illegal in North Carolina for the owner of a solar panel system to sell electricity back to the installer to defray the installation cost. Removing that roadblock would be huge. We need to have 21st century economic policies for the sale of electricity, not medieval, plantation-esque policies. And while we’re at it, we should create solar loan and finance programs like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. If houses are important, electricity to power homes is also important.If the subsidies currently offered to fossil fuel industries were offered to solar, would that make solar cost-competitive?Absolutely. We should provide the same level of subsidies that the fossil fuel and nuclear industries get. If you had to pay the true, cradle-to-grave cost of energy, renewables would win hands-down.Would we need new battery storage or other technologies for solar to work well?No. We have more than enough technology, but we haven’t manufactured and deployed it. This isn’t a technical issue—it’s a financing and policy issue. We haven’t invested enough in solar energy to realize its full potential, but the technical part is figured out. Five years ago, we thought it would be gravy to get solar panels down to a dollar a watt, and now we’re below that. We’ve cut the cost of solar panels by 400 percent over the past three to four years. And yet our yearly solar energy generation is something a third-world country would be a ashamed of. We’re busy building nuclear plants that were supposed to be too cheap to meter, and decades later you still can’t get insurance for them and taxpayers are on the hook.How would solar work at night and when the sun is obscured by clouds?A variety of storage techniques are available now, like pump storage, compressed air, and batteries. It’s not technically difficult—you just have to spend money on them in the same way you do on fossil fuels. There’s a big reason why we keep an entire carrier fleet in the Gulf of Arabia. If we upped our spending on solar and other renewables, we could probably bring that fleet home.How much acreage would be required for solar panels to power Appalachia, and where should they be sited?Some people think you’d need a massive amount of land for solar panels. That’s just not true. A chunk of land the size of the state of Delaware would be enough to power the entire country using solar concentrated power plants, so you’d need a whole lot less just to power Appalachia. Abandoned farmland close to large population centers in Appalachia would be the best place for a centralized system. But importing power to the region is phenomenally expensive, so it would be cheaper to have a decentralized system made up of both large plants to satisfy demand peaks and also individual buildings with their own solar panels.What role would wind, geothermal, and other types of renewable energy play in powering Appalachia?All of them could and should play a role. For example, Appalachia has a lot of wind, and hydroelectric would also probably play a role. And we have huge amounts of biomass, which is potential solar energy and represents stored carbon. We have more than enough resources. What we don’t have right now is the political will.last_img read more

Peace breaks out in Bracknell

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Bulldogs And Wildcats Results At Batesville Invitational

first_imgThe Bulldogs hosted the 10 team Batesville Cross Country Invitational Tuesday night while also honoring our 11 seniors. Although everyone ran the race together, the meet was split up into large and small schools. Even though the heat was still upon us, Batesville ran some tough races and were given a lot of awards, starting with the boys as they claimed the 1st place trophy in the large school division winning by 10 points over East Central 45-55. Seymour took 3rd place with 63, followed by Rushville (108), Franklin County (123) and Connersville (138). For the boys small school side it was South Ripley that took the championship trophy. On the girls’ side, Batesville came through in 2nd place with 57 points as East Central only had 40. Seymour also scored 57 points but moved to 3rd place as the Bulldog’s 6th runner was ahead of theirs breaking the tie. Rushville came in 4th with 68, Franklin County (146) and Connersville (147). On the small school side for the girls, South Ripley was also the winner.Individually, 20 individual awards were given per division. Batesville had all 7 varsity boys in the top 20. Joshua Myers was the first Bulldog across the line in 4th place (17:15) as Adam Moster followed right behind him n 5th (17:27). Dillon Murray was next in 7th (18:00), then Quinten Gowdy in 13th (18:20), Christopher Laymon in 16th (18:31), then Joseph Choi at 19th (18:43) with Nathan Eckstein taking the 20th spot(18:54). On the girls side, Liz Loichinger was the top finishers for Batesville taking the 3rd spot (20:20) as Emma Gausman was next at 6th (20:57). Haylee Harmeyer was next in 9th (21:09) with Audrey Weigel getting 18th spot (21:59). Trysta Vierling just barely missed an award as she was 21st (22:32). She was closely followed by Audrey Maupin (who helped Batesville break the tie as a team to take 2nd) in 22nd (22:36). Ava Ralston finished out the top 7 placing 34th.On the JV side, although their race wasn’t scored as a team, the top 10 were recognized with awards. Batesville boys took 7 of the top ten spots, including the winner of the meet which was John Thompson (18:46).  The other 6 to get awards were: Garrett Wagner, 2nd, Charlie Laymon, 3rd, Adam Hollowell, 5th, followed by Nathan Vallani, Kaleb McBeath, and Luke Esser claiming 7, 8 and 9. For the girls, Britany Venis was the top Batesville runner and the only one in the top 10, getting 3rd.Again, even though it was hot and a very hard night to run a personal best, Batesville had three to achieve this; Garrett Wagner, Nathan Vallani and Alex Livers. Way to go boys!As stated earlier, the Bulldogs honored 11 seniors before awards were given out and they were: Joseph Choi, Quinten Gowdy, Christopher Laymon, Garrett Wagner, Grant Meyers, Hannah Canady, Emma Gausman, Haylee Harmeyer, Audrey Maupin, Audrey Weigel and Cheyenne Laker. Thank you seniors!The Bulldogs will travel to Greensburg to finish out the regular season on Thursday to compete in Pirates Invitational. Good Luck Dogs!Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Lisa Gausman.The Franklin County Girls placed 5th at the Batesville Invitational on Tuesday, September 26th with a score of 146.Sophomore, Katelyn Meyer, was the top runner for Franklin County. She placed 19th with a new personal record of 22:14. She’s dropped her time by almost 2 minutes this season. Taylor Stewart and Kairee Hodapp were the number two and three runners for the Franklin County team. Taylor placed 27th with her time of 23:37, and Kairee placed 28th with a time of 24:10. Despite the heat, the ladies were able to maintain consistent times at Batesville.The Franklin County Boys Cross Country team placed 5th at the Batesville Invitational on Tuesday, September 26th, with a score of 123.Senior, Evan Apsley had his best race of his high school career. He placed 9th, with a time of 18:08. Cody Moore missed a top ten spot, and received 11th place with his time of 18:18. Sophomore Tanner Lainhart’s time of 20:48 was just a second off of his personal best.The Wildcats are preparing for the Greensburg Invitational on Thursday, September, 28th.Courtesy of Wildcats Coach Stacey Nobbe.last_img read more

Syracuse special teams adjust to increased penalty calls in conference play

first_img Published on January 27, 2016 at 10:26 pm Contact Tomer: [email protected] | @tomer_langer Nicole Ferrara skated toward the penalty box and seemed to be pushed from behind after Rochester Institute of Technology goalie Jetta Rackleff saved her shot. Ferrara reacted by raising her arm backward, but she was called for a face-masking penalty. Paul Flanagan begged the ref for an explanation. The SU head coach thought it either should have been called as a penalty on the RIT player or as offsetting penalties.It’s been a recent trend that Flanagan finds himself unhappy with some of the calls that were made throughout the game. “You get frustrated because you don’t know what they’re gonna call. One second something’s a trip, then the next second, the trip isn’t a trip,” Flanagan said after Saturday’s 3-1 win over RIT. “I guess what I’m saying, I think our referees have to work for some consistency.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textEver since the start of conference play Syracuse (11-12-3, 7-3-2 College Hockey America) has found itself on the power play and the penalty kill more than before. SU’s player-up and player-down units have been average this season and each is currently ranked third out of six teams in the CHA. The Orange averages just 3.5 penalties per game and their opponents only average 4.4. In the past four games, two two-game series with Mercyhurst and RIT, SU has been called for 6.5 penalties per game and its opponents have been called for 7.3. Flanagan has said that his team will have to focus more on power-play and penalty-kill situations simply out of necessity and that the added high-intensity 5-on-4 play makes his frontline players more fatigued as the game goes on.“We’re gonna put a premium on power play and PK,” Flanagan said on Saturday. “You look at the amount of minutes, why would we work on anything but?” Defender Megan Quinn’s solution to guarding the penalty kill is to aggressively slap the puck away when it’s in the corner and to get in front of any possible shot attempts from opponents. Offensively, the Orange has struggled all season to score goals with a shot percentage of just 8.3. It doesn’t get much better on the power play as the team’s shot percentage then is 13.3, and just 11.5 in conference play. Against RIT, the Orange spent a lot of time methodically moving the puck around the perimeter. Flanagan said that while passing the puck around the perimeter to get a good look, the team was essentially killing its own power play.He said that his players need to make quicker decisions with the puck on the power play, instead of just moving the puck around.Quinn, who’s spent time this year on the power play, thinks that making crisper passes and not missing open areas will help resolve the power play issues. “Power play I feel like is just moving the puck fast … also moving our feet on the blue line and trying not to get pucks blocked,” Quinn said. As the season hits the home stretch, the Orange will have to adjust its play and prepare for the added down-a-skater situations that will inevitably arise in CHA play. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more