Renewable Energy

Duke Energy/Flickr

Duke Energy reports it cost about $30 million to comply with North Carolina’s renewable energy requirement last year. As that requirement doubles next year, Duke is petitioning for an increase in rates.


elwetritsche / Flickr

Duke Energy is in discussion with large companies, including Google and Facebook, to use renewable energy to power new electricity needs in North Carolina. Companies can pay a premium and Duke will pour energy of the companies’ choice—solar or wind, for instance—into the grid to match the amount of power used. The new program sailed through the state utilities commission last month, but some environmental organizations question its potential. WFAE’s Ben Bradford joined Morning Edition host Kevin Kniestedt to explain.


A new report shows North Carolina becoming a bigger player in the solar energy market. The firm NPD Solarbuzz says North Carolina created 400MW (megawatts) of new solar capacity. That’s enough to account for 10 percent of all new solar in the U.S. and Canada. Analyst Michael Barker says it’s a ramp up from previous years.

"One of the big findings was just how quickly the North Carolina market has grown in 2013," Barker says. "Climbing from the 5th largest U.S. market to the 2nd largest U.S. market."

Duke Energy Renewables

Duke Energy is not known for embracing renewable energy in North Carolina. About one percent of the Duke Energy Progress’ and Duke Energy Carolinas’ electric capacities in the state come from renewables—mostly solar, as well as a small amount of wind and biomass. Duke’s favored plan projects that number to rise to just 3 percent, 15 years from now. At the same time, Duke has a subsidiary business solely focused on developing and selling renewable energy across the country. WFAE’s Ben Bradford spoke to the president of Duke Energy Renewables for a businessman’s perspective on the green revolution.


Ben Bradford / WFAE

When you look out the airplane window as you fly into Charlotte, the trees thin, the Uptown skyline rises into view, and the buildings of West Charlotte grow larger, as your plane drops altitude. The City of Charlotte hopes to add solar panels glinting across the airport’s parking lots and in-between the runways to that view. The city is soliciting bids for an ambitious solar project at the airport.

IKEA-Charlotte Now Operates (Partly) On Sunshine

Jun 6, 2013
Tasnim Shamma

Furniture giant IKEA has just installed 4,228 solar panels on the roof of its store in Charlotte. The panels are expected to generate up to half of the store's electricity. 


The world’s thirst for more energy has led us down the path to climate change. Some politicians have said that alternatives to fossil fuels may help us reverse that, but the problem is that alternative forms of energy aren't ready on the scale we need. And recently scientists at UNC Charlotte came to an even more alarming conclusion, that the problem is unsolvable. Two of the people working on that project talk about their troubling conclusion, when Charlotte Talks.

Smaller ReVenture Plan Moves Forward

Nov 30, 2012

The developer whose plan to turn Charlotte trash into electricity was squashed by public opposition last year, has now received a permit for a much smaller power plant that will run on sawdust. 

Tom McKittrick's original vision at a contaminated industrial site on the Catawba River was an 80 megawatt plant powered by household garbage.