MTPR

solar power

Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer.
File photo (PD)

Former Governor Brian Schweitzer says Montana is well-positioned to help lead what he believes is the country's inevitable energy revolution.

"We're one of the 31 states that passed a [mandatory] renewable energy portfolio. Electricity that we're using in Montana, more than 15 percent of our portfolio is already from renewables."

Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer is bullish on the future of energy generation and distribution.

Schweitzer's written a new book titled "Power Up.energy" in which he asserts an energy revolution is underway in the United States. He says our dependence on foreign fossil fuels can and should be replaced within 20 years by natural gas, solar and advanced battery technologies.

Solar panel installation.
Wayne National Forest (CC-BY-2)

Fans of non-petroleum energy are having a “Clean Energy Fair” in Missoula’s Caras Park Saturday. Diana Maneta, the executive director of the Montana Renewable energy association says they’ll be unveiling a new initiative called Solarize Missoula.

Kevin and Marti Murphy and their children at their home in Colstrip.
Amy Martin

Kevin Murphy has worked at the Rosebud coal mine for 15 years, running a bulldozer which works in tandem with a dragline – a machine as big as a ship with a giant boom that extends 300 feet up into the air. The dragline perches on the lip of an open pit, scraping away hundreds of feet of rocky soil to reveal the black seam of compressed prehistoric peat that humans have been burning for fuel for millennia.

10/20/2014 - Many people see the crisis posed by climate change clearly but governments, largely influenced by money coming from coal, oil and natural gas corporations, do not act. Huge demonstrations from New York to more than 150 cities all over the world indicate that people want action on climate change now. Germany is leading the way with solar technology. Prices are coming way down. China is investing more in renewable energy than the U.S. And in an extraordinary development, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund is divesting from fossil fuel companies.

Development of solar energy is undergoing a renaissance as the price and downside of fossil fuels increases. Author, physics professor and solar energy expert John Perlin says the use of solar energy goes back thousands of years.

It took a contest from a company out of Maine, and a social media effort spanning across international borders for the Glacier Institute to get an alternative energy project installed on their off-grid campus. The Institute is a non-profit organization that offers educational opportunities for students and adults in and around Glacier National Park.

Executive Director Joyce Baltz said the Institute plans to have its alternative energy project be both functional, and educational.

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