Energy and You: Renewable Resources and Innovative Solutions

When young people, just about to graduate from high school look into their future, what do they see? They are surrounded by dire news about rising fuel costs, global climate change and continuing energy crises. So where’s the good news?

Produced for San Diego County Office of Education these five short films encourage young people to respond positively to the energy crisis by exploring new ways of producing and conserving energy as well as by discovering the host of new “green” jobs and career opportunities. This DVD is part of a high school curriculum which includes a Teacher’s Guide by Rodger Bybee.  Featuring interviews with: Jay Inslee, U.S. Congressman, Washington; Dan Arvizu, Director, NREL; Walt Musial, Senior Engineer, NREL; and leading experts in the ocean renewable energy field.

Video 1: The Energy Crisis.
This video begins by aligning the energy crisis with the classic story of the tragedy of the commons. It introduces the concept of common property resources. Then it explains two significant aspects of the crisis: global warming and the Earth’s rapidly dwindling fossil fuel supplies. The video includes interviews with scientists and engineers who highlight the need for alternative cars, new ways to generate electricity and new ways of thinking about our use of energy.

Video 2:  Alternative Cars and Fuels.
This video explains each of the following alternative cars and fuels, while outlining the pros and cons of each. Explanations center on:

* Alternative Cars and Fuels (overview)
* Hybrid Cars
* Plug-in Hybrids
* Electric Cars
* Biofuels
* Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars

Video 3:  Renewable Energy
This video surveys different methods of generating alternative electricity and introduces the electric grid. Explanations address the following:

* Renewable Energy (overview)
* Wind Energy
* Hydroelectric Power
* Energy from Water Currents
* Wave Energy
* Geothermal Energy
* Solar Thermal Energy
* Biomass
* Nuclear Energy
* Solar Photo Voltaic
* The Electric Grid

Video 4:  Energy Efficiency.
This video reviews the idea that each form of renewable energy has its limitations and that the electricity infrastructure of the future will include a mix of renewable and non-renewable resources. The video looks at the current contribution the renewables are making to our overall use of energy. Also, the video looks at the current inefficiencies in our energy use and the range of ways to improve this efficiency.

Video 5: Solutions
This video presents some contemporary individuals and businesses that are becoming part of the solution to the energy crisis. It highlights the significant opportunities that are becoming available in the green job market so that we can all become part of the solution. Industry leaders encourage high school students to think about green jobs in a range of new and old industries.

Total running time: 52 minutes