Introduction: Oil Be Damned (01:50)
This episode of “What a Waste” examines alternatives to burning fossil fuels, which pollute the atmosphere and contribute to global climate change. Governments are looking at renewable alternatives such as wind and solar.
Promise of Solar Power (03:47)
One hour of sunlight can meet humanity's energy needs for a year. Gladwyn d’Souza's California home draws nearly all its energy from the sun. California has pledged to meet 33% of its energy needs with alternative sources by 2020.
German Renewable Energy Subsidies (02:56)
Government subsidies lead to a boom in solar panel installation. Solar architect Rolf Disch discusses the growing number of plus-energy houses in Freiburg. Electric companies are required to buy back renewable energy produced by homeowners and businesses at more than triple the normal market price.
Solar Innovation in China (02:47)
Manufacturing of solar panels is strong in China. Suntech Power Founder Shi Zhengrong acknowledges that price is an obstacle for many consumers. China is set to become the world’s lead energy user and still relies on fossil fuels.
Alternative Energy in Rizhao (03:45)
Change can be seen in the rapidly growing city. More than 90% of homes in the central district use solar power to provide hot water, as demonstrated by resident Chao Liu. The city also harnesses solar power for street lights, traffic lights and other uses.
Wind Power in China (02:57)
The number of wind farms in China grows exponentially each year. New turbines on Chongming Island provide enough energy for 20,000 homes. Resident Tang Hai Ying describes changes he has observed. The government hopes wind will provide 4 million Shanghai residents with power by 2020.
Renewable Energy Storage (02:44)
Perhaps the greatest hurdle to overcome for renewable energy is its reliability. Steve Chu and Vijay Vaitheeswaran describe advances in technology that allow for the storage, transportation and even trading of renewable energy.
Credits: Oil Be Damned (00:37)
Credits: Oil Be Damned
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