Conference Explores North Carolina’s Energy Future

Apr 16, 2013

Strata Solar's Solar Farm in Fuquay Varina.
Credit / Strata Solar

North Carolina companies are in the midst of a sustainable energy boom. Solar farms have bloomed, wind farms could be on their way, and local entrepreneurs are experimenting with biofuels and solar power. But cheap natural gas and new legislation could slow sustainable energy growth.

Experts are discussing these advancements at the North Carolina Department of Commerce's 10th Annual Sustainable Energy Conference in Raleigh today. Keynote speaker Marilyn Brown is a professor from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She said today on The State of Things that many people are looking to fracking for natural gas to solve our energy needs.

"We'll be able to stretch it out a bit," she said. "But these are fossil fuels and they are finite. So eventually we're going to have to plan for what we replace them with. And that's where renewables come in."

Brown says critics who say renewable energy sources are too expensive to develop don't factor in the health and environmental costs associated with fossil fuels. The sustainable energy conference runs through tomorrow.

Today's State of Things show also featured Lyle Estill, founder of Piedmont Biofuels, and John Morrison, COO of Strata Solar. Hear the full show above.