WEI In the News: February Media Mentions

David Rothamer, David J. Phillip/AP Photo, Amber Arnold/State Journal

Media coverage of WEI this month focused on discussions onTexas' winter energy crisis, how engine research ties into face mask efficiency, and a climate change campaign led by climate scientist moms. 

Science mom: UW scientist joins campaign to teach fellow mothers about climate change

Tracey Holloway, a professor of atmospheric science at UW-Madison, is one of half a dozen leading climate scientists (and mothers) who’ve banded together to motivate other moms to take action on the threat of climate change.

Musk’s $100 million prize a complement to needed government climate action

Crowdsourcing has worked well for traffic apps and getting the private space-travel industry launched, so why not try it on a grander scale for global problems like climate change?

That’s what Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla and the richest person in the world, is doing by sponsoring an innovation contest for carbon-removal technology that has a $100 million prize.

Gregory Nemet, a professor at the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, comments on the value of this incentive at the global stage. 

Inside Ikea’s Ambitious Plan to Make Cheap Furniture Last Forever

The Ikea store in Queens, New York, which opened on Jan. 14, marked a decided departure for the iconic home furnishings brand. Located in the Rego Park Shopping Center, the 115,000-square-foot open layout—a new, smaller format for Ikea—is divided into core areas of the home, offering small-space solutions tailored to city living. Rooms are thoughtfully merchandised with easily portable accessories like lamps and throw pillows that customers can take with them on the bus or subway, both of which are a block away—a key factor in choosing the store’s location, given that more than half of city residents use public transportation.

Tom Eggert, a senior lecturer on business sustainability at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, comments on how Ikea creates their market.

Everything You Need to Know About Mask Braces: Do They Work? Can You Make Your Own?

When it comes to face masks, there are no true substitutes for professionally fitted N95 respirators, the gold standard in protection against COVID-19. But given the shortage of such equipment (first responders, doctors, and nurses rightfully get first dibs) and a lack of easily accessible fit tests for civilians, we've all had to get a bit creative with face masks.

WEC proposes largest solar battery storage project in state

WEC Energy Group proposed plans to build a 310-megawatt solar and battery storage project in Kenosha County.

If approved, the Paris Solar-Battery Park would be the biggest of its kind in the state. This park is part of the company’s plan to invest $2 billion in renewable energy by 2025, according to the WEC press release. 

Built for cold, Wisconsin grid hums along in temperatures that crippled Texas

As record-breaking cold swept across Texas this week, millions of people were left shivering in the dark as the state’s power grid failed to meet the surging demand for electricity, crippled by temperatures in the single digits.

So why does the power continue to work in places like Wisconsin, where bitter cold is a way of life? The reason is simple: Generators in the Upper Midwest are designed to work in frigid conditions, unlike those in Texas.

Experts Say Cold Is Unlikely To Cause Power Crisis In Wisconsin, But There Are Still Lessons From Texas

More than half a million Americans from Oregon to Virginia dealt with power outages Thursday as winter storms continued in parts of the country.

Earlier this week, Texas was hit particularly hard. Frigid temperatures caused demand for electricity to skyrocket, while also preventing the state — which is on its own electrical grid — from generating enough power. Homes have been without electricity, and burst pipes and low water pressure have caused their own problems.

Texas Power Outages Reveal Cracks In The System

It’s been reported that a third of Texans are still dealing with disrupted water service and others are still without power after last week’s major winter storm.

On WORT 89.9 FM's A Public Affair, we learn what the crisis in Texas means about our energy grid with energy systems expert Line Roald.