The City of Houston recently announced an expansion in renewable energy. The city agreed to purchase an additional 20 megawatts of solar power. Today, we examine solar energy with Dr. Gavin Dillingham, program director for clean energy policy at the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), and Bill Swann, TXRX Labs.
"I think the last year gave us a pretty good insight into the next decade. There's going to be significantly more flooding, summers that last longer, more vector-borne diseases," said Gavin Dillingham.
"I don't think the world is going to shut off all major power plants everywhere and run everything on solar. That's not where we are going long-term. I think there is a mix of solutions that are going to the optimal outcome," said HARC's Jennifer Ronk.
A HARC analysis of federal wetland data for the Houston Chronicle shows how development is impacting wetlands and flood risk in the Houston region. Since 1996 over 54,000 acres of wetlands have been lost and since 2001, developed lands have increased by 25%.
HARC Vice President Lisa Gonzalez is featured on Houston Matters. The episode highlights her recent remarks at a Water, Water Everywhere Summer Salon Series panel hosted by the Center for Houston’s Future. She offers insights on the state of Houston’s water supply.
"If we let it go, we can end up with problems like we see in other parts of the city", said Lisa Gonzalez on cleanup plans for improving water quality in the watershed of San Jacinto River's west fork.
HARC researchers discuss changes to impervious coverage, loss of natural areas, and flooding. "You need to keep water in some of these systems and out of the bayou in the first place.” HARC’s Bill Bass
“The transmission project is a great opportunity for clean energy development and the modernization of the grid. However, to make even greater progress, we must focus on the demand-side through energy efficiency.” – HARC’s Gavin Dillingham
“It turned out when we superimposed a graphics based on the existing pipeline database over our findings, oh, we see these huge spikes right on top of the pipeline system,” said Jay Olaguer on the findings in three Houston communities.
"People have this idea that every time they turn on the faucet, water ought to come out of the tap, and they have an idea that that will happen the rest of their life," says Jim Lester, HARC's President and Chief Executive Officer.
"The little amount of downtime we’ve had, for this being a pilot project and how well it’s functioned, it’s been first-class all the way through.” said Rich Haut on the success on the completion of a unique gas-capture technology in the Bakken.
HARC's Carolyn LaFleur, Research Associate, Energy Production, speaks on working toward bringing two new projects to the Bakken. “We’re prepared to mobilize whenever they can work it out,” LaFleur said. “It’s a very nice synergy with the need to use flare gas, stranded gas, particularly in the Bakken where it’s such an issue.”