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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Rain and Finding Pennsylvania's Solar Future

Written by Avery Van Etten | Jul 25, 2018 4:00 AM
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Photo by Scott LaMar/WITF

 

What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, July 25, 2018:

The incessant rain that started falling last weekend is still going strong. It's causing flooding throughout Central Pennsylvania, while closing roads and damaging homes. 

The rainwater doesn't only inconvenience drivers - it also poses a serious danger to pedestrians. A woman was swept away after falling into the Conewago Creek in southern Dauphin County Monday night.

Water is running into basements and even the first floors of homes, as well.

The rain is expected to continue Wednesday and maybe taper off with a continuing chance of showers Thursday. By the time the precipitation ends, some areas could have up to a foot of rain.

Wednesday's Smart Talk provides an update on the weather, roads and other valuable information with Eric Horst, Millersville University meteorologist, Fritzi Schreffler from PennDOT, and Jeff Thomas from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

The Sentinel is compiling a map of flooded roads and invites people to report flooding on their form.

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Fritzi Schreffler in studio

 

Also, solar energy is responsible for less than one percent of Pennsylvania's net electricity generation, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The Finding Pennsylvania's Solar Future project group hopes that by 2030, solar power produced in this state will account for 10 percent of retail electric sales. 

group of stakeholders with expertise in areas ranging from business to environmental advocacy met in a series of workshops to come up with ideas for increasing the state's production of solar power. In addition, everyone is invited to comment on the plan.

As explained in the Finding Pennsylvania's Solar Future draft planincreased solar energy can have health, economic, and environmental benefits. 

To achieve its goal of expanding solar power in Pennsylvania, the project group determined that a combination of cross-cutting, grid scale solar generation and distributed solar generation will likely be necessary.  

Cross-cutting involves making solar power affordable. Grid scale (solar energy produced in large amounts at farms or plants) is expected to account for the majority of Pennsylvania solar generation, while it is anticipated that distributed solar generation (small-scale technology used to produce electricity closer to the end use of power) will account for 10-35 percent of the state's solar energy. 

On Wednesday's Smart Talk to discuss Finding Pennsylvania's Solar Future is Patrick McDonnellSecretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. 

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Secretary Patrick McDonnell

 

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