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Green Energy

Our Monthly Science Roundtable examines the technology behind electric vehicles.

The Tesla Model 3 hits the market in about 18 months. Priced at $35,000, the car is already in high demand: Tesla CEO Elon Musk says there are 400,000 pre-orders.

So what could mass-market, affordable electric vehicles mean for the future of the automotive industry and the environment? What's next for green auto technology? Are self-driving cars, as Musk says, "life-saving," or will they lead to more distracted driving? We discuss all of this and more with our guests:

  • Roger Dube, research professor at RIT and owner of a Tesla Model S
  • Jeffrey Botticello, third year mechanical engineering student at RIT and team manager for RIT’s Electric Vehicle Team
  • Derek Gutheil, fifth year mechanical and computer engineering student at RIT and member of RIT’s Electric Vehicle Team

researchperspectives.org

ALBANY (AP) An upstate New York town that repeatedly found itself without power for days during a string of storms is planning a dramatic step - pulling its municipal buildings entirely off the electric grid.

Nassau's decision to rely on solar, wind, landfill gas and battery storage by 2020 puts it on the leading edge of a national campaign to develop "microgrids'' designed to make communities more energy independent and the grid more resilient.

This summer, the New Yorker wrote that solar power "makes utility companies nervous." Some utilities are hitting customers with a fee if they install solar. But others, like Green Mountain Power in Vermont, are helping customers diversify their energy options. Why the disparity? And what will RG&E ultimately do?

WROC-TV's Adam Chodak sparked this conversation with a recent series of reports, including his reporting that RG&E was considering a fee, but had made no decision. Our panel explores the energy future:

Nearly ten percent of the Finger Lakes wine industry is now turning to solar power, and that number could grow substantially in the next year. Many winery owners oppose fracking and gas storage in the region; now they're interested in showing that they can power their operations with new technologies.

Our panel explains how it's happening, what it costs, and what's next for solar. Our guests:

Susan Spencer is finishing her Ph.D. at RIT, and some day soon, she could be part of a team that brings a scalable solar energy plan to Rochester. Last month, she was one of 500 people from around the world chosen to attend Al Gore's foundation retreat in Melbourne, Australia. The five-day event was focused on two things: 1) the true cost of carbon, and 2) how to better communicate climate change. It culminated with an eight-hour lecture from Al Gore himself. In this hour, she tells us what she learned, and how solar might be the energy source everyone has been looking for.

www.princetonreview.com

For the third consecutive year the Rochester Institute of Technology has been named one of North America’s Greenest Universities. 

Princeton's Guide to 322 Green Colleges evaluates colleges and universities on environmentally related policies, practices and academic offerings. 

Rochester Leads Upstate In New Green Energy Patents

Jan 4, 2013
License Some rights reserved by mason13a / Creative Commons License

New York state ranks third in the world for the number of clean energy patents issued in the third quarter of 2012. The Clean Energy Patent Growth Index shows that the majority of the 63 patents issued during that period went to upstate inventors.