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Episodes

GNM 15 - Haida Gwaii

4/18/2018
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Off the coast of western Canada, a First Nations community is taking their energy future into their own hands. We look into the remarkable transformation of Skidegate in this week's Good News Minute.

Duration:00:01:58

Clean Energy for Los Angeles

4/11/2018
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A major American city powered completely by renewable energy by 2030: sounds too good to be true? It's surprisingly achievable, and in this special episode, Behind the Switch host Spencer Fields fills us in on his recent trip out to L.A. where he explained to local utilities, political groups and community advocates just how this could be done. Spencer co-authored a study by Synapse Energy Economics entitled "Clean Energy for Los Angeles", and we recently sat down to talk over the details.

Duration:00:28:22

GNM 14 - Baltimore Means Business

4/4/2018
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The Charm City is taking their sustainability efforts to a whole new level with bills banning crude oil terminals and styrofoam containers. Climable's Jen Stevenson and Andrew Grandahl investigate in this week's Good News Minute!

Duration:00:01:50

Let's Talk About Microgrids

3/26/2018
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A few weeks ago, members of the Climable team hosted a microgrid workshop in Providence, Rhode Island. Climable Director of Research and Operations Jen Stevenson and Behind the Switch co-host Andrew Grandahl sit down in this episode to reflect on the workshop, and discuss the benefits of microgrids and why they have the potential to reshape the energy landscape as we know it.

Duration:00:20:41

GNM 13 - Battery Business

3/15/2018
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We've been noticing quite a lot of news recently pertaining to battery technology, and thought we'd catch you all up with this week's Good News Minute!

Duration:00:02:00

Worst-Case Economics Part II - Moving Forwards

2/14/2018
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In Part II of our look into Dr. Frank Ackerman's recent work from his new book "Worst-Case Economics", we're moving forwards from the topics covered in Part I. How can our predictive models change to better account for unpredictable events, and how can everyone stand to gain from more holistic ways of thinking? Andrew and Spencer explore these ideas, and much more, in this special edition of Behind the Switch.

Duration:00:16:32

GNM 11 - Preserving Patagonia

2/7/2018
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Great news coming out of Chile! In collaboration with NGO Tompkins Conservation, the nation has just added a whopping ten million acres of wildlife sanctuary stretching down the beautiful southern half of the country. Climable.org's Director of Research and Operations Jen Stevenson joins Andrew Grandahl for this uplifting Good News Minute - give it a listen!

Duration:00:02:00

Worst Case Economics Part I - Cognitive Bias

1/24/2018
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Why do humans seem to have such a poor understanding of risks? Why do we struggle to collectively quantify the chances of extreme scenarios? How have our economic methodologies caused us to downplay worst-case scenarios not just in finance, but in climate change and ecology as well? Dr. Frank Ackerman is Principal Economist at Synapse Energy Economics, and has just released a fantastic book named "Worst-Case Economics" which examines these very questions. Frank goes in depth as to the...

Duration:00:18:11

GNM 9 - NYC Divests

1/19/2018
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On January 10th, New York City mayor Bill DeBlasio announced the city was divesting its pension funds from fossil fuels, in addition to suing five major fossil fuel firms. New York is the first major U.S. city to divest from fossil fuels, and its actions may well be replicated by other cities. Hannah and Andrew give you the full story in this weeks Good News Minute!

Duration:00:02:00

GNM 8 - FERC rejects Perry's NOPR

1/10/2018
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Last September, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry introduced proposed regulatory rule changes to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in an attempt to prop-up the fading coal industry. After months of review, FERC has unanimously rejected Perry's proposal, a massive victory for renewable energy, the environment, and public health. Spencer and Andrew explain in this special Good News Minute,

Duration:00:02:46

Series 3 Episode 4 - Outage Solutions and Microgrids

1/4/2018
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In the final episode of "What Happens When the Grid Goes Dark?", Andrew and Spencer look into the solutions that can help make our electrical grids more stable, secure, and democratic. First, Synapse Energy Economics principal associate Max Chang gives a rundown of what "storm hardening" really means. Then, founder and chairman of Clean Energy Solutions Inc. David Dayton sits down to talk about exciting microgrid technologies, how organizations and communities can come together to promote...

Duration:00:14:09

GNM 7 - Getting The Numbers Right

12/20/2017
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The information organizations use to create financial models for energy investments in developing economies is so important. In the rapidly changing world of renewable energy technology, the cost of off-grid solar and storage units can change overnight. It's hugely important that we use accurate, up-to-date data when we assess the feasibility of these projects. Spencer and Andrew look into how a British company has been updating these metrics, and what that might mean for international...

Duration:00:01:59

Series 3 Episode 3 - Large-Scale Blackouts

12/13/2017
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In Episode 3 of "What Happens When The Grid Goes Dark?" Spencer and Andrew delve into the complexities of large scale blackouts, such as those caused by hurricanes in Puerto Rico and Houston this past year. Synapse Energy Economics principal associate Max Chang sits down to provide them with the insight they're looking for.

Duration:00:10:00

Series 3 Episode 2 - Bringing power back online

11/29/2017
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After a local power outage, what goes into bringing power back online? Spencer and Andrew investigate, interviewing Synapse Energy Economics principal associate Bob Fagan for some answers.

Duration:00:12:23

GNM 5 - NJ and VA elections

11/22/2017
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Isabel and Spencer recap the environmental implications of recent gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia

Duration:00:01:57

What Causes Outages?

11/15/2017
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In episode one of "What Happens When The Grid Goes Dark?", Spencer and Andrew start at the beginning by investigating a simple question: What causes power outages? They sit down with Synapse Energy Economics CEO Bruce Biewald for a fascinating conversation about power generation, what goes in to keeping the power on, and the role of resource diversity in strengthening our electrical grid.

Duration:00:14:55

Behind The Switch Season Three Preview

11/8/2017
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Series three of Behind the Switch premieres in just one week! We'll be looking into power outages, what causes them, how they're fixed, and what we can do in the future to make our electric grid more resilient and promote energy democracy. Get ready for another great series of episodes!

Duration:00:01:48

GNM - Floating Wind Farms

11/1/2017
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Spencer and Andrew discuss exciting advancements in offshore wind technology, and what it means for the future of wind energy in the U.S. and around the world.

Duration:00:02:00

How Will We Achieve 100% Renewable Energy?

10/26/2017
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In the final episode of Series 2, Sika and Anna interview Synapse Energy Economics senior associate Ariel Horowitz and principal associate Max Chang. Their question: What needs to be done on the part of citizens and politicians to bring us to a fully renewables-powered world? What ensues is a fascinating conversation filled with insight, real world pragmatism, and solutions.

Duration:00:14:08

GNM 3 - Coal's Decline

10/19/2017
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In light of recent proposals from Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to subsidize the dying coal industry at ratepayer expense, Spencer Fields and Andrew Grandahl take a closer look at the industry as a whole, and where U.S. energy markets are really heading.

Duration:00:01:58

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