renewable energy

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Kentucky has gotten mixed grades in a nationwide report card of states’ solar energy policies.

Erica Peterson | wfpl.org

Across the Atlantic Ocean, governments and businesses are taking big steps toward renewable energy. Their transition could provide lessons for Kentucky.

This is the fourth in a five-part series. Read the others here.

In the middle of the industrial German city of Essen, there’s a wall surrounding a property bigger than 100 soccer fields. This is Zollverein: two former coal mines and a coking plant, which is used to turn coal to coke for steelmaking. I’m here to see how a former coal complex has been reinvented over the past two decades into something that’s a genuine tourist attraction.

Erica Peterson | wfpl.org

Across the Atlantic Ocean, governments and businesses are taking big steps toward renewable energy. Their transition could provide lessons for Kentucky.

This is the third in a five-part series. Read the others here.

For 900 years, ships and goods have been unloaded in Hamburg, Germany’s second-biggest city and an industrial center. On a fall day, tourists stroll along the Landungsbrücken, or floating dock, watching the boats come and go.

Like in Kentucky, manufacturers in Hamburg need to know that they’ll have a large and constant supply of affordable electricity. And two very different power plants in Hamburg show the tension in Germany’s energy market.

Erica Peterson | wfpl.org

Across the Atlantic Ocean, governments and businesses are taking big steps toward renewable energy. Their transition could provide lessons for Kentucky.

This is the second in a five-part series. Read the others here.

In Western Germany, only a 45-minute drive from the tourists milling around the iconic cathedral in Cologne, miners work in three immense lignite coal mines. Machines rumble, digging the soft, brown coal out of the ground and placing it on conveyor belts.

Erica Peterson | wfpl.org

 Across the Atlantic Ocean, governments and businesses are taking big steps toward renewable energy. Their transition could provide lessons for Kentucky.

This is the first in a five-part series.

WFPL

Like other Appalachian states, Kentucky’s coal and utility industry is in a period of transition. Environmental regulations, declining reserves and market conditions are making coal more expensive to mine and burn. Over the past six years, the number of coal miners in the eastern part of the state has been cut in half. Several of Kentucky’s large, aging coal-fired power plants have announced their plans to retire or switch to natural gas.

Across an ocean, in Germany, is a coal-producing country also undergoing a transition. 

Murray State University, Facebook

Murray State University hosts representatives from Frankfort and statewide agencies in the energy sector today for an observance of National Bioenergy Day (#bioenergyday) at the Equine Center. Sessions include conversations on energy strategies involving advanced biofuels, woody biomass and the first modern legal harvest of industrial hemp in Kentucky (today at Murray State).

The observance also includes the official lighting of Murray State's bio-burners and the announcement of a state wood energy grant. On Sounds Good, Kate Lochte gets the details from Tim Hughes, Director of the Division of Biofuels of the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence. 

David Monniaux, Wikimedia Commons

A partnership between the local utility and state and federal government will build Kentucky’s largest solar array at Fort Campbell. The solar array will cover about 20 acres at the army base, and will produce five megawatts of power.

Kenya Stump, Kentucky’s assistant director of the Division of Renewable Energy, said five megawatts is enough energy to power about 500 homes.

Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

By law, the only piece of legislation that the 2014  Kentucky General Assembly had to pass was a two-year state budget. All else, as Will Rogers put it, is applesauce.

The Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition is making its voice heard across the state on energy issues.

The activist group is planning to petition for a sustainable projects fund at Murray State tomorrow.

KSEC also plans a demonstration at the University of Kentucky basketball game in Lexington to protest the use of coal severance funds in the renovation of Rupp Arena.