About 100 members of the group Mothers Out Front rallied in front of the Massachusetts State House in November to urge officials to invest in renewable energy instead of building new natural gas pipelines.
On a cold but sunny day last month, about a hundred people rallied in front of the Massachusetts State House, hoisting signs that read “Green the grid,” “Clean energy now” and “No future with fossil fuels.”
“We’re talking about our children’s future,” shouted Kelsey Wirth into a megaphone. Wirth is founder of the group Mothers Out Front, which has one goal: “To ensure that Massachusetts is making the right energy choices for the sake of our children’s future,” she said, “and that means choosing clean and renewable energy every time there’s a choice to be made.”
Many homeowners install renewable energy technologies like solar panels in an effort to become less dependent on conventional energy sources. But could an entire island eventually achieve that goal? Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard is taking the first steps to harness the strong tides that flow just off its eastern shore. It’s new technology, and there are many financial and regulatory hurdles still in the way. But the hope is that one day the ocean will supply a significant portion of the Vineyard’s energy needs.
When it comes to energy hogs and inefficiency, ice rinks rank among the worst. But not the new one in Falmouth. Not only is this eco-friendly ice arena making its own electricity, it's using that electricity as efficiently as any building of its kind in the world.
"You don't see a lot of rinks like this, obviously," said Paul Moore of Falmouth Youth Hockey. "And rinks are utility monsters, they eat up a lot, a lot of electricity."
Keeping Nantucket Powered is a Challenge as Demand for Electricity Rises, by Jason Graziadei
Keeping an island 30 miles off the mainland supplied with fuel and electricity is hard enough, and on Nantucket, there’s also the need to account for the seasonal population that creates a short but significant surge in the demand for energy. It's a complex energy system that is constantly evolving with advances in technology and transportation.
There are a lot of upsides to plug-in electric vehicles, which is why state and federal officials are pushing hard to bring them into the mainstream. The technology promises to help reduce our reliance on imported petroleum products; the cars can be charged overnight or at times when the electric grid is less taxed; and they produce zero tailpipe emissions.
LISTEN as an NStar spokesperson discusses a customer's electricity bill.
Utility company officials don't usually make house calls. But NStar spokesperson Michael Durand agreed to sit down with an NStar customer and talk about her electric bill. So we introduced Durand to 72-year-old Barbara Meehan of Wareham.
Both of our region’s primary electric utilities have announced double-digit rate increases in recent weeks, leaving some residential customers wondering how they’ll pay an extra thirty dollars a month or more.
But beyond the rate hikes, New England is in the midst of an energy crisis. It’s facing serious questions about the future of its energy supply. Rupa Shenoy reports that if the region can't get a grip on its electricity usage and supply, residents and businesses are facing a future that may include “rolling blackouts” on days when usage is the highest.