40 episodes

This is the podcast for people that can't wait to switch to renewable energy. Each episode includes an interview with someone who is fighting climate change with clean power.

Clean Power Planet: Fighting Climate Change David Butler

    • Technology

This is the podcast for people that can't wait to switch to renewable energy. Each episode includes an interview with someone who is fighting climate change with clean power.

    Retraining Coal Miners for Energy Efficiency Work - Frank Morris

    Retraining Coal Miners for Energy Efficiency Work - Frank Morris

    Frank Morris is a former coal miner who was retrained as a residential energy specialist through the New Energy Intern program. This is the third episode in a three-part series about the program, which helps out of work coal miners train for jobs in energy efficiency. Frank now works for the Appalachia Heat Squad and the Housing Development Alliance.
    The New Energy Intern program is run by MACED  (the Mountain Association for Community and Economic Development) with funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)
    Here is an excerpt
    DB: Would you like to see your kids work in coal mining when they get older?
    FM: If my son picks up a coal shovel I might smack him with it.
    DB: Alright, you should warn him about that in advance though.
    FM: Oh yeah!
    Please support the show
    If you would like to support Clean Power Planet please make a donation on Patreon.
    If you would like to hire Keaton Butler to engineer or produce your podcast contact her at KeatonButlerRecording@gmail.com
    Please give us a review in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
    We would love to hear from you. Just email david@cleanpowerplanet.com.
    Links mentioned in the show
    MACED has a lot of fantastic programs for people and businesses in Eastern Kentucky. You can find out more about them at MACED.org. If you’re interested in the New Energy Intern program contact Chris Woolery (cwoolery@maced.org).
    The episodes in this series were recorded at Appalshop in Whitesburg, Kentucky which is a fantastic organization that helps people in the region tell their stories through music, film, video, art - you name it. You can find out more about them at Appalshop.org.
    Music Credits
    Original music for this episode was provided by:
    Wonderhills Keaton Butler - keatonbutlerrecording@gmail.com Avery Reidy

    • 20 min
    Retraining Coal Miners for Energy Efficiency Work - John Craft

    Retraining Coal Miners for Energy Efficiency Work - John Craft

    This is the second episode in a three part series about out-of-work coal miners in Eastern Kentucky that are being retrained to do energy efficiency work through the New Energy Intern program.  It was created by the Mountain Association for Community and Economic Development or MACED. In the first episode of the series Rachel Norton from MACED told us about the program.
    Today we’re talking to John Craft. He’s spent a lot of his working life as a coal miner, in both underground and surface mines. He started out doing surface mining permit work at 19 and did a lot of different types of mining jobs over the years. He finally left mining in 1995, partly because he got a bad chest x-ray but also because he saw the decline coming in the coal industry.
    Now John’s starting his own energy efficiency company, and looking forward to helping people in Eastern Kentucky cut their electricity and gas bills and save money. That means more fossil fuels can stay in the ground. He’s got some great stories to share.
    Here’s an excerpt.
    David: So if you realized that coal didn’t have a great future in ‘92 I’d say that you were a few years ahead of people because there’s still plenty of people that are hoping it will come back.
    John: Coal will never be back. Ever. It’s too dirty. We can’t do it and live on this planet.
    David: When you talk to guys that you used to work with, what do they say about it? Do they feel the same way as you?
    John: Everybody I used to work with is on disability man.
    Our next episode will feature Frank Morris, another of MACED’s New Energy Interns.
    MACED has a lot of fantastic programs for people and businesses in Eastern Kentucky. You can find out more about them at maced.org.
    The episodes in this series were recorded at Appalshop in Whitesburg, Kentucky which is a fantastic organization that helps people in the region tell their stories through music, film, video, art - you name it. You can find out more about them at appalshop.org.

    • 26 min
    Retraining Coal Miners for Energy Efficiency Work - Rachel Norton

    Retraining Coal Miners for Energy Efficiency Work - Rachel Norton

    This is a very exciting episode. It's the first in a three part series about a cool internship program that retrains out-of-work coal miners for energy efficiency jobs. All three episodes were recorded at the historic Appalshop media center in Whitesburg, Kentucky, right in the middle of the Appalachian coalfields.
    Our guest for this first episode in the series is Rachel Norton. She's not an out-of-work coal miner. She's an energy efficiency expert that works for the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) the organization that created the New Energy Intern program. The coal industry in Appalachia has been in decline for many years and it’s left behind a struggling economy with very few job opportunities. Retraining miners to do energy efficiency upgrades has several positive outcomes. Obviously it helps the miners find work or start businesses but it also helps homeowners and businesses lower their energy bills, which allows them to invest the savings in something more important. When energy costs are reduced it helps the entire local economy and the efficiency upgrades pay for themselves through the savings they generate.
    Rachel studied Biosystems Engineering at the University of Kentucky. She wanted to find a job that would allow her to work toward a progressive energy future. She knew that there weren’t many opportunities to do that in her home state of Kentucky, but she decided to stick it out because she felt she could do the most good here. MACED has given her an opportunity to make a big difference. She also has her own energy efficiency consulting business called GreenStep.
    Our next two episodes will feature Frank Morris and John Craft, two of MACED’s New Energy Interns.
    Here is a little more detail about Appalshop. It’s a unique organization that's been around for 50 years. It houses an art gallery, a theater, a community radio station, and recording studios. It's really an amazing place that helps people from around the region share their stories. You should check it out at appalshop.org.

    • 31 min
    A World of Renewable Energy - Dave Renné

    A World of Renewable Energy - Dave Renné

    Dave Renné has almost 30 years in international solar energy development. We asked which countries are leading the way.

    • 24 min
    DIY Wind Turbines - Solar Jim and Sustainable Jack

    DIY Wind Turbines - Solar Jim and Sustainable Jack

    Our guests today are Chris Carter and Jack Martin, also known as Solar Jim and Sustainable Jack. Chris is a performing artist and sculptor with 20 years of experience designing and installing standalone power systems. Jack is a professor in sustainable technologies at Appalachian State University, and together they’re pioneers of DIY wind turbines and co-hosts of their own radio show, The Home Power Hour, where they discuss homemade wind turbines, alternative energy and environmental issues. They also teach Home Brew Wind Turbine workshops at the Handy Village Institute in central North Carolina.

    This episode of Clean Power Planet is brought to you in partnership with the American Solar Energy Society. ASES advocates for sustainable living and 100% renewable energy. They bring scientists, policy-makers, business people and citizens together to share knowledge and community. You can join ASES at https://www.ases.org/.

    • 39 min
    One in Seven People Live Without Electricity - Ben Bunker

    One in Seven People Live Without Electricity - Ben Bunker

    Ben Bunker is the CEO of the Global BrightLight Foundation, which provides access to affordable solar-powered lights to people living without access to electricity. Many of the people that they help live in very rural areas. They rely on kerosene, candles or even wood chips for light. BrightLight’s vision is a world with universal access to clean, sustainable, and affordable energy.
    Ben: You know, those of us who have had the power go out before, whether because of a storm or something going wrong with the utilities, we’ve had this experience together but often it’s not one that’s a prolonged experience, maybe one or two days, maybe a week if you’re unlucky without power. And most of us resort to candles, flashlights or batteries. And so for a billion people around the world that’s actually every single day. It moves from being a minor inconvenience to something that significantly impacts their life in a series of different negative ways. I’ll give a couple of examples. One is economics. Some folks are spending up to 25% of their income on candles or kerosene or batteries every single month. When you only make $100 and you’re living in Guatemala or Peru, that $25 represents a significant amount of your income.
    David: So, you said over a billion people?
    Ben: Yes.
    David: And there are what, 7 billion people on the planet?
    Ben: Every day there’s more but that’s a good round number.
    David: So this is one out of every 7 people that doesn’t have electricity.
    Ben: Whether you’re in a waiting room or you’re in traffic or wherever you are just imagine that one out of every seven of those people is going to go home to a house without electricity and is going to have to endure a series of hardships because of that.
    Our work is focused primarily in Guatemala and Peru and we work in rural areas where most folks are day laborers or do some sort of farming often either as an employee of a larger agricultural operation or just to survive on their own. And these folks in the rural areas are usually somewhere between 5 to 10 hours or even a day away from the nearest town that has electricity.
    So, let’s say on an average day someone could get up, go into the fields, work on their harvest, come home and then probably have between 30 minutes to one hour of sunlight left, if they’re lucky. Often they work until sundown because they’re using all the productive light they have. And then when they get home, as I mentioned, they’re using candles and kerosene, so the house is almost completely black. To move around from room to room they actually have to pick up this light source and carry it with them. It’s a very dark way to live, not just in terms of the amount of light but also in the quality of the connections you can build because if you think about the time you spend with your family in the evenings that is all predicated on having light to bring together the community and the family. Not that folks don’t do that but it’s just a little harder when everything’s dark.
    David: I can’t even really imagine what that’s like.

    Please listen to the episode for the full interview.
    To learn more about the Global BrightLight Foundation or make a donation go to https://globalbrightlight.org/. Your gift will light a light.
    This episode of Clean Power Planet is brought to you in partnership with the American Solar Energy Society. ASES advocates for sustainable living and 100% renewable energy. They bring scientists, policy-makers, business people and citizens together to share knowledge and community. You can join ASES at https://www.ases.org/.

    • 25 min

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