Heat pumps are a more sustainable and efficient way to heat homes than to conventional gas heat, but they’re often too expensive for homeowners to install. Meet the GeoGrid, an underground geothermal heat pump network that could make the technology more efficient and accessible. Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) is a nonprofit working with utilities to develop GeoGrids in residential neighborhoods. We spoke to HEET Executive Directors Audrey Schulman and Zeyneb Magavi about heat pumps and the advantage to connecting them via a GeoGrid approach.
California’s ambitious goal to achieve 60% renewable energy by 2030 brings new challenges in managing grid stability due to the variable nature of solar and wind energy. With growing demands from electric vehicles and energy-efficient buildings, enhancing energy storage capacity becomes crucial for a sustainable transition.
How can we help developing countries finance climate action? We spoke with Kelly Varian, a policy analyst at UC Berkeley law, who proposes changes to the International Monetary Fund.
Hip Hip is not just a music genre; it was born as a way for the oppressed to speak about and connect over the socio-economic injustices they experienced. In this episode we delve into how today’s youth can use art, including Hip Hop, to engage critically with the world around them. We spoke with Khafre Jay, the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Hip Hop For Change, about how he uses Hip Hop for climate activism.
Wetlands, especially coastal salt marshes, provide crucial ecosystem services including biodiversity preservation, water regulation, carbon storage, and climate regulation. Human activities have degraded many of these ecosystems, but restoration projects, such as those at Cape Cod National Seashore, aim to rejuvenate affected marshes and restore their vital functions.
Nature-based solutions to climate change, such as “Resilience Hotspots,” can enhance climate resilience by restoring and maintaining pockets of nature, such as wetlands and urban green spaces, to counteract storm surges and urban heat islands. Integrating these natural defenses into urban planning, while emphasizing community equity, not only mitigates climate impacts but also promotes climate justice.
Ammonia, vital for global agriculture, is traditionally produced with significant carbon emissions. Dr. Benjamin Snyder envisions farmers using solar power to create “green ammonia” on-site, reducing greenhouse gases and promoting self-sufficiency.
When plants photosynthesize, they temporarily remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Could we use gene editing technology CRISPR to enhance photosynthesis and increase the amount of carbon dioxide they remove? UC Berkeley biology Professor and photosynthesis expert Kris Niyogi thinks so, and he says it could fight climate change and enhance food production at the same time. In this episode, Climate Break speaks to Professor Niyogi about his lab’s early-stage research into CRISPR, photosynthesis, and applications to climate change.
Today’s proposal: using geothermal energy to generate round-the-clock, carbon-free electricity. Pat Dobson at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab explains how power plant operators can extract the geothermal energy from heat zones deep within the Earth.
With more and more people concerned about climate change and climate pollution, local governments are increasingly demanding zero-emissions public transportation options. But those can be costly. We spoke with Ed Thomson, from Scotland’s transport agency, to learn about their pathway to decarbonization of heavy-duty vehicles, such as public buses.