New documentary series explores options for looming energy issues
Detroit Public Television, WTVS Channel 56, will present a groundbreaking documentary series, "Beyond The Light Switch", which takes a new look at the controversy and urgency surrounding the challenge of developing a new infrastructure for electricity in the United States.
The two-hour documentary will be shown on Detroit Public Television in two parts, the first from 9 - 10 p.m. on Tuesday November 16, 2010 and the second on Tuesday November 23, 2010 from 9 - 10 p.m.
By 2050, experts say the United States must:
- Turn over nearly its entire electric power plant fleet
- Cut carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent
- Completely update its power grid
All of this must happen while demand for electricity is expected to rise by 30 percent.
The documentary explores the possible paths forward including coal, natural gas, renewables, natural gas, solar, the "super grid" and others to determine what achieves the goals, creates jobs and gains a measure of energy security.
Produced by Detroit Public Television and guided by an independent advisory panel convened by the University of Michigan-Dearborn, "Beyond The Light Switch" is hosted by David Biello, energy and environment editor at Scientific American. He takes viewers to a first-of-its-kind coal plant in West Virginia, gas wells in Pennsylvania and Texas, inside a nuclear reactor under construction in Tennessee, to wind farms along the Hood River Valley in Oregon and to the shores of Cape Cod, among other places around the country that showcase the options for our energy future.
Detroit Public Television is currently talking to several national public television programming providers about national distribution of "Beyond The Light Switch".
"This new documentary is the latest example of how Detroit Public TV renews its commitment to exploring the issues most important to our community and country," said Rich Homberg, President and General Manager of Detroit Public Television. "'Beyond The Light Switch' adds a much needed balanced perspective to a debate that could be more heated and more critical than anything since healthcare."
The following funders contributed to the production of "Beyond The Light Switch": American Electric Power, DTE Energy, Duke Energy, Edison Electric Institute, Entergy Corporation, Exelon, IBEW/NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association), NextEra Energy Inc., Nuclear Energy Institute, Southern Company, Wisconsin Energy Foundation, and Xcel Energy.
It's hard to imagine Jim Brandstatter sprinting through an airport, trying to make a flight at the last minute. But calling Michigan games on Saturdays and Lions games on Sundays, that's exactly the scene.
"Once I'm at the airport and on the plane, then I'm there and I can just settle in and say, 'I'll get there when I can,'" said Brandstatter, who has been the radio voice of Michigan football and the Lions since the mid-1980s. "In the early days, I'd gnash my teeth and worry and have some stress. But as I got doing it, I came to the realization that there's nothing I can do about it anyway."
With all the logistics, late flights and unforeseen circumstances in air travel, Brandstatter has more than his share of stories about his trips.
"I was late to the (Lions) game in Arizona the weekend Bo (Schembechler) passed away because I was on a plane from Detroit to Phoenix and they had mechanical problems and the plane took off an hour-and-a-half late," recalled Brandstatter, an all-conference offensive lineman at Michigan between 1969 and '72.
"So, getting to the game was a little bit of a problem, but I was only two-and-a-half minutes late into the game."
In another instance, a snowstorm made his flight to Minnesota more than an hour late. In the cab on the way to the stadium, the radio station called... 'Brandy' enjoys hustle, bustle as color man for U-M, Lions (Thu, 11/11)