PLEDGE NOW
Energy Ideas and Realities: 80% Clean by 2035?

The President says he wants 80 percent clean energy by 2035. How will we really get there?

Membrane and catalyst components involved in engineering man-made "plants" for energy conversion, provided by the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. (solarfuelshub.org)

World events, Egypt, and snow storms have grabbed our attention hard since the State of the Union address.

But one pledge – promise, goal – from President Obama still rings:  That by the year 2035, eighty percent of America’s electricity will come from clean energy.

It was a careful pledge. It included natural gas and “clean coal” in the eighty percent equation. But even so, it’s a big pledge – for a country that overall has not been ambitious for clean energy.

Can we do it? Will we do it? And how?

We speak with Caltech energy guru Nathan Lewis, on President Obama’s big clean energy pledge.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Nathan Lewis, director of the Department of Energy’s Innovation Hub at the California Institute of Technology — the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. The center is researching simulating photosynthesis for energy production. He’s also a professor of chemistry at CalTech.

Steven Mufson, energy correspondent for the Washington Post.

Here’s what President Obama said in the 2011 State of the Union Address about Nathan Lewis’ work — and the wider race for a clean energy future:

That’s what Americans have done for over 200 years: reinvented ourselves. And to spur on more success stories like the Allen Brothers, we’ve begun to reinvent our energy policy. We’re not just handing out money. We’re issuing a challenge. We’re telling America’s scientists and engineers that if they assemble teams of the best minds in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy, we’ll fund the Apollo projects of our time.

At the California Institute of Technology, they’re developing a way to turn sunlight and water into fuel for our cars. At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they’re using supercomputers to get a lot more power out of our nuclear facilities. With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 27, 2015
Republican presidential candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the American Legislative Exchange Council 42nd annual meeting Thursday, July 23, 2015, in San Diego. (Left) Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina speaks to local residents during a meet and greet at Cecil's Cafe, Thursday, July 23, 2015, in Marshalltown, Iowa. (Right) (AP)

Sixteen Republicans are running for president. Two of them — Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina — join us.

Jul 27, 2015
The Snow BBQ best, in WBUR's kitchen. (Sarah Platt / WBUR)

From secret sauces and rubs to hickory and folklore, we will celebrate and sample the best barbecue in the land. Bring napkins!

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 24, 2015
Experts say exercise and socializing helps the brain. Here, George Jackson, right, 85, an army veteran and former boxer, exercises with Mary Diner, left, as they participate at a parkour class for elderly people in south London. The unique weekly class for people over 60 called parkour, a flashy discipline usually known for its acrobatic running, climbing and gravity-defying jumps. While most fitness classes aimed at seniors focus on calmer activities like dance or yoga, experts say parkour is a reasonable, if unorthodox, option., (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

From forgetting the keys to real dementia, the exercises – body and mind – that can actually help the aging brain.

 
Jul 24, 2015
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks to the media during a tour of the World Trade International Bridge at the U.S. Mexico border in Laredo, Texas, Thursday, July 23, 2015. (AP)

The traffic stop and Sandra Bland. The Cuban flag flies in Washington. A Trump tizzy. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Q & A: Scott Walker On The Iran Deal, Huckabee Comments
Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker explains his opposition to the Iran Deal, his record of statewide electoral victory and why he feels he’s set to win the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.

More »
Comment
 
Q & A: Carly Fiorina On Trump, Sexism, And Being Cut From The GOP Debate
Monday, Jul 27, 2015

Republican Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of computer giant Hewlett-Packard, joined guest host John Harwood to talk Donald Trump, the upcoming Republican candidate debate and sexism in modern life.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The News: July 24, 2015
Friday, Jul 24, 2015

You all really, really love to listen to our week in the news segments (that’s great) and we wonder why. Plus: Alex Trebek can’t really sing, in case you were wondering.

More »
2 Comments