Green Grid Radio

Engaging and transformative reporting on the environment, energy, and sustainability


Leave a comment

Coming up in S2E7: A Day in the Life of a Bay Area Environmental Think Tank

It’s easy to get caught up thinking about national energy and environmental policies and programs as the ultimate mechanisms for initiating change. We hyper-analyze every word in Obama’s State of the Union and different groups cry foul, while others proclaim victory. In this media-saturated world we live in, we sometimes forget about many of the promising local changes that are taking place. Volunteers, city governments, and local non-profits are out there making a difference, especially here in the Bay Area. On today’s show, we focus on effective sustainability initiatives  with Dr. Tanja Srebotnjak of the Ecologic Institute, and the episode is titled, “A Day in the Life of a Bay Area Environmental Think Tank”. We’ll also be joined by frequent contributor and panelist, Matt Chalmers.

2012-indicators-cover-231x300Make sure to listen from 6-7 PM (PST) on Thursday! Our regular reminder: we’re on 90.1FM in the Bay Area, or online at kzsulive.stanford.edu. Thanks for listening!


2 Comments

S2E6: Ecovillages: Sustainable, Cooperative Lifestyles that Really Work

Last Thursday, the Green Grid Radio team approached the topic of ecovillages and cooperative living. In “Ecovillages: Sustainable, Cooperative Lifestyles that Really Work,” Tony Sirna spoke with us about the inception and operation of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, an intentional community in northeast Missouri. Sirna, an alum of Stanford who lived in Synergy (a cooperative house on campus), wanted to create social change after graduating and implement the cooperative living model in the real world. We spoke with Tony about why he decided to start Dancing Rabbit; how the community works socially, politically, economically, and environmentally; and how he hopes to use Dancing Rabbit as a model for the rest of the U.S. of how to live in harmony with your family, your neighbors, and the planet. Student guests Hannah Rich and Aliza Gazek, current residents in Columbae (another cooperative house on campus), joined us as well to talk about their experiences living cooperatively. Sirna, Rich and Gazek all expressed hope and excitement at the idea of using larger-scale intentional communities to educate the public and live sustainably beyond college.

S2E6: Ecovillages: Sustainable, Cooperative Lifestyles that Really Work S2E6: Ecovillages: Sustainable, Cooperative Lifestyles that Really Work

Alongside coops, other groups on campus initiate low-budget, high-impact projects to benefit the larger community. Tying in with that notion, this episode also featured the next “Energy on the Farm” segment with Sasha Brownsberger of the Green Living Council. We checked in with GLC on their activities this year. You can listen to this week’s fascinating episode below:

Listen here:



Leave a comment

Coming up in S2E6: Ecovillages: Sustainable, Cooperative Lifestyles That Really Work

The sixth episode of Green Grid Radio’s second season will be, “Ecovillages: Sustainable, Cooperative Lifestyles that Really Work,” and will feature Stanford University alum Tony Sirna. Tony lived in Synergy, a co-op house at Stanford, as an undergrad, and after graduating decided to take the principles of community living and implement them in the real world by founding Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in northeastern Missouri. Dancing Rabbit, now a thriving intentional community of about 70 people, allows members to live ecologically sound lives and provides an example of an alternative way of living as a community. We will also welcome current Stanford students and co-op residents Hannah Rich and Aliza Gazek as panelists on the show, to discuss our interview with Tony and to comment on how cooperative living has impacted their views on sustainability and community.

courtyard

So tune on in Thursday from 6-7 PM (PST) to 90.1FM in the Bay Area, or online at kzsulive.stanford.edu. Thanks for listening!


1 Comment

S2E5: Powerhouse: How Video Games Can Produce Serious Energy Efficiency

On Valentine’s Day, the Green Grid Radio team unveiled the fifth episode of the season, “Powerhouse: How Video Games Can Produce Serious Energy Efficiency.” Professor Byron Reeves‘ PhD students, James Scarborough and James J. Cummings stopped by to share their perspectives on the Powerhouse video game as a part of Stanford ARPA-E Initiative project. Can we leverage the millions of gaming hours being played globally into initiatives like energy efficiency? Who are the gamers these days, anyway? Well it turns out that homeowners may be the exact audience most amenable to the sway of video games. This week’s guests brought a fascinating social and behavior psychology perspective to how people can have a large role in reducing the demand side in energy consumption, all through video games. Please enjoy this week’s episode below:

S2E5: Powerhouse: How Video Games Can Produce Serious Energy Efficiency

James Scarborough in the studio to discuss social gaming and the Powerhouse project.

Listen here:


Leave a comment

Coming up in S2E5: Powerhouse: How Video Games Can Produce Serious Energy Efficiency

The fifth episode of Green Grid Radio’s second season will be, “Powerhouse: How Video Games Can Produce Serious Energy Efficiency,” and will feature Stanford University Department of Communication PhD candidates, James Scarborough and James J. Cummings. The two study how behavioral psychology and social motivations can influence behavioral change, with a specific focus on energy efficiency. Scarborough and Cummings have been involved in the Stanford ARPA-E Initiative project, specifically working on the video game Powerhouse, which is designed to help players and the broader population have fun while learning about energy efficient behaviors in their homes. This is Green Grid Radio’s first episode on energy efficiency, and the first to feature two long-form interviews!

cummings

Jim Cummings stopped by the studio to talk about the Powerhouse video game.

Make sure to tune in Thursday to 90.1FM (in the Bay Area) from 6-7 PM (PST) or online at kzsulive.stanford.edu. This will be another fantastic episode Thanks for listening!


Leave a comment

S2E4: Grid Flexibility: Challenges and Opportunities with Bringing Renewables onto the Grid

Earlier this week, the Green Grid Radio team returned to one of the central topics on the show: the grid. In “Grid Flexibility: Challenges and Opportunities with Bringing Renewables onto the Grid,” Professor Mark O’Malley, all the way from the University College Dublin in Ireland, spoke with us about grid basics as well as institutional, physical, and technical barriers to higher renewable penetrations. Outbound Stanford student and current PG&E renewables integration specialist, Larsen Plano*, also joined us to weigh in on the discussion. The two believe there is plenty to be optimistic about in terms of moving to higher levels of variable renewables, here in California, and internationally. There are strategies to overcome these barriers to grid flexibility, as demonstrated by real life examples in Europe and American studies like the NREL Renewable Energy Futures report.

S2E4: Grid Flexibility: Challenges and Opportunities with Bringing Renewables onto the Grid

The NREL Futures study provides an interactive map that allows users to investigate generation sources in projected time.

Listen here:

*Larsen’s opinions are his and do not represent those of PG&E.


Leave a comment

Coming up in S2E4: Grid Flexibility: Challenges and Opportunities with Bringing Renewables onto the Grid

This Thursday, make sure to tune in to our fourth episode this season. It is titled, “Grid Flexibility: Challenges and Opportunities with Bringing Renewables onto the Grid,” and will feature Professor Mark O’Malley from the Electricity Research Centre and University College Dublin. Electrical Engineering Professor O’Malley dropped by the studio before his Energy Seminar in January to speak about grid flexibility, what that even means in the first place, and some of the challenges and opportunities with increasing renewables from a grid perspective. We will also be joined by Larsen Plano, a student in Civil & Environmental Engineering who is transitioning into the utility world at Pacific Gas & Electric.

Join us from 6-7 PM (PST) at kzsulive.stanford.edu, or if you live in the SF Bay Area, 90.1FM on the dial. We hope you find it to be a great addition to our episode list. Thanks for listening!