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NRG with MG

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Making art out of climate change

February 12, 2013
2012 continued a 36-year streak where the average temperature for the year was above the 20th century average and record breaking ice melt was observed in the Arctic last summer. There to observe this grim record was Daniel Beltra, one of a number of artists and photographers using their craft to visually demonstrate the planet in decline. Daniel Beltra began his career as a photojournalist in his homeland of Spain. His love of nature led him to work with Greenpeace to shoot environmental disasters, including the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill in 2010.

His large scale images of melting arctic ice are now on display in Aspen at Quintenz & Co, 501 E. Dean St. KDNK's Marilyn Gleason spoke to Beltra about the art of climate change in this week's edition of NRG with MG.
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Climate Change, Policy and a Second-Term President

February 5, 2013
Randy Udall is back today for his monthly visit on NRG with MG. 2012 continued a 36-year streak where the average temperature for the year was above the 20th century average. Record breaking ice melt was observed in the Artic last summer. Warm summer temperatures on land in North America that set or neared record highs, were balanced somewhat by extreme cold in December. KDNK's Marilyn Gleason revisits climate change this month, starting with Randy Udall.

You can find the article, "Seeking Clues About Sea Level from Fossil Beaches" at nytimes.org.
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Aspen's Hydro History

January 29, 2013
Aspen voters narrowly rejected a new hydroelectric power plant in November after a contentious and controversial campaign.

Today, Aspen relies on renewable hydropower for about 40 percent of its electricity. But before 1958, Aspen got all its power from hydro, and in 1885 it became the first town west of the Mississippi to have electricity.

Writer and Aspen Times columnist Paul Anderson wrote the history of Aspen's electric utility, "Power in the Mountains." Today on NRG with MG, Paul Andersen discusses the more recent local history of renewables with KDNK's Marilyn Gleason, beginning with the decision that closed down the hydro plant that once supplied all of Aspen's electricity with extra left over to sell downvalley.
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Renewable Energy in the Wild West

January 22, 2013
Aspen voters narrowly rejected a new hydroelectric power plant in November after a contentious and controversial campaign. Today, Aspen relies on renewable hydropower for about 40 percent of its electricity. But renewable energy is nothing new here. Its roots go back to the mining days when untamed wilderness collided with industry, and innovation held the key.

Writer and Aspen Times columnist Paul Anderson wrote the history of Aspen's electric utility, "Power in the Mountains." On this episode of NRG with MG, he's here to tell how it all began. KDNK's Marilyn Gleason starts with the first sentences of Paul Andersen's book.
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Betting on Renewable Energy

January 15, 2013
Volatility has ruled energy markets in recent years, starting even before the Great Recession began. Meanwhile renewable sources such as solar, wind and tidal energy, although vast enough to meet our total energy demand, are slow to attract private investment or stable government backing.

Chris Nelder has authored books on profitably investing in renewable and conventional energy. On this episode of NRG with MG, Nelder tells KDNK's Marilyn Gleason how tricky it is to make good investments – something President Obama famously learned from Solyndra.

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What's New in Renewables?

January 8, 2013
At the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, the Department of Energy takes on large-scale, high-tech, ambitious and expensive research and development of renewable energy sources. Chuck Kutscher is an engineer at NREL. On this episode, he's back on NRG with MG to discuss what's new in renewables with KDNK's Marilyn Gleason. His specialty, concentrating solar, is a centralized method of generating solar power, which is usually conceived as home-based, distributed power.
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Randy Udall on the Smart Grid

January 1, 2013
The "Smart Grid" was all the buzz a few years back, and in 2007 Xcel Energy planned to launch the world's biggest project. Boulder was chosen as Xcel's SmartGridCity launching pad. After partners fled, costs ballooned and expectations shrunk, Xcel says it's learned valuable lessons. But critics call SmartGridCity poorly planned, poorly managed and a failed experiment. The Denver Post reported this fall on cost overruns totaling tens of millions of dollars, which will likely be paid by customers. Xcel supplies energy for most of Garfield County and about half of Carbondale.
Energy expert Randy Udall is back on NRG with MG this week to answer Marilyn Gleason's question, What is the Smart Grid?
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Cutting-Edge Solar in Aspen

December 26, 2012
Amatis Controls is an Aspen based company boosting the efficiency and functionality of heating home hot water with the sun. Americans spend more than $30 billion annually heating water, but only install 1 percent of the new solar hot water systems globally. Piper Foster tells KDNK's Marilyn Gleason how affordable monitoring can help fix system breakdowns,  improve efficiency and engage energy consumers.
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Adding Up Waste Energy with a Stirling Engine

December 18, 2012
This week on NRG with MG, we visit with Sam Weaver, CEO of Cool Energy in Boulder. The company is reviving a 19th-century technology to increase efficiency and generate electricity using waste heat, as KDNK's Marilyn Gleason found out.
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Concentrating Solar at the National Renewable Energy Lab

December 11, 2012
This week on NRG with MG, we visit the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, where top scientists brainstorm new energy paradigms with Department of Energy dollars. Germany is a leader in rooftop solar electricity, but Spain has the best examples of concentrating solar, a centralized utility-level technology. Chuck Kutscher is an engineer with 34 years at the Lab whose focus is developing and lowering the cost of concentrating solar, as he told KDNK's Marilyn Gleason.
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