renewable energy

courtesy Purdue University

Purdue is set to receive almost $20 million from the National Science Foundation to run a research center studying what its leaders are calling “bridge fuels” – in other words, fuel made from gas that's trapped in underground rock. It's extracted through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The researchers say it’ll be needed to satisfy the country’s demand for oil until renewable resources like wind and solar become dominant in the future.

But there was no mention of the “f-word” – fracking -- during a public celebration of the grant or in any of the promotional materials concerning it.

New DOE Study Explores Decline Of Coal, Nuclear

Aug 25, 2017

Natural gas, not renewable energy, is the primary driver behind coal and nuclear power plant retirements, according to a highly-anticipated Department of Energy study released this week.

The study concluded the already widely-held view that cheap natural gas and low demand drive the decline in coal and nuclear power. The report also implies that increased use of renewable energy could make the power grid unreliable in the future.

 

Carroll County will be home to a $350 million, first-of-its-kind recycling plant that will turn old plastic car parts into diesel fuel, officials announced Tuesday.

The GEP Fuel & Energy plant will employ about 250 people in Camden by 2020.

That represents about one job for every four Camden residents – something Jim Staton of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation noted at the packed factory announcement in the town’s community center.

Sarah Altendorf / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarah_elizabeth_simpson/

Indiana ranks 12th in the nation for the number of wind turbines, and wind energy production is projected to grow.

But Clinton County -- which had one of the state’s first wind ordinances – is now embroiled in talks about whether there will ever be any turbines there.

The Clinton County Area Planning Commission is collecting public comments from residents—for example, how much noise people are willing to tolerate—before they update its wind farm zoning ordinances.

Courtesy Crawfordsville Mayor's Office

A new 20-acre solar park has opened in Crawfordsville – providing enough energy for a few hundred homes.

But even as the city is set for a transformation through the Stellar Communities program, it lacks a real identity. Could embracing alternative energy be a gateway to getting people to think of Crawfordsville as a “green” destination?

Also on this week’s program:

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

A 3-megawatt energy park has opened in Crawfordsville.

The Indiana Municipal Power Agency -- a group started by cities such as Crawfordsville which own their own utilities -- has installed 20 acres of solar panels on the city’s northeast side. Crawfordsville proposed a good location, driving some of the cost down.

Crawfordsville mayor Todd Barton says the park also helps the city’s tax base.

'Battery Farm' Could Help Power 15 States

Jul 10, 2015
Joe Strupek / https://www.flickr.com/photos/strupey/6859432225

Indianapolis Power and Light has broken ground on what it says will be one of the largest energy-storage facilities in the Midwest. IPL will use interconnected, advanced batteries to store up to 20 megawatts of energy.

Ken Zagzebski, president of IPL parent company AES, says the battery array will make the power grid more reliable by smoothing out variations in supply and demand.

And he says the lithium-ion batteries will reduce emissions. He says only recently have electric companies cracked the long-standing dilemma of how to store energy for when it‘s needed.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Alongside U.S. 231 in the small Montgomery County town of Linden, just south of the railroad museum, there’s a colorful new installation.

Row upon row of panels sits on the site of the Tipmont REMC headquarters. The ones that face north are bright orange – designed to reflect sunlight onto the ones that face south. Those are photovoltaic cells, navy blue with a crosshatching of wires running through them.

There are 240 of them in total and Tipmont spokeswoman Sasha Clements took a second at their unveiling to explain to the crowd how they’d be allocated.

keithreifsnyder / https://www.flickr.com/photos/kereifsnyder/

Fourth District Congressman Todd Rokita says if re-elected for a third term, education reform would be

one of his priorities.

The Republican wants to give states the power to set their own benchmarks for K-12 education instead of being held to the guidelines in the No Child Left Behind Act.

Rokita says he would also seek to streamline the application process for federal loans and grant applications for higher education.

His challenger, John Dale, has been a government and history teacher at Western Boone High School for 24 years.

Ethanol Now A Big Cash Crop For Hoosier Farmers

Oct 9, 2014
Sarah Altendorf / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarah_elizabeth_simpson/

Indiana farmers‘ biggest cash crops now include not just corn and soybeans, but energy.

Indiana Farm Bureau president Don Villwock says ethanol now accounts for 40-percent of Hoosier farmers‘ corn production.

And he says other forms of renewable energy benefit farmers as well.

"We do have a few solar farms starting to sprout up," says Villwock. "We have a new one in Tipton County that just recently started. So we're really on the forefront, and Purdue University is probably the leading cellulosic research institute in the country."

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