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How NC factors into a national goal of energy independence

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U.S. Department of the Interior
The U.S. Department of the Interior will hold a wind energy auction for two areas off the coasts of North and South Carolina in May. The Department says the developed areas could result in enough offshore wind energy to power nearly 500,000 homes. 

From the electricity powering our homes to the gas fueling our cars, reliable energy sources are critical to a functioning society.

And as Russia invaded Ukraine, beginning a deadly, unprovoked war, much of the world looked to get their energy from countries besides Russia. It’s proven complicated, though, as Russia produces one out of every ten barrels of oil in the world and Russia supplies about 40% of the European Union's natural gas imports.

While experts disagree if America is already energy independent, it's an objective both Democrats and Republicans support. Still, despite the U.S. being the world’s biggest producer of oil and natural gas, prices and supplies still depend heavily on global market forces and events. One approach toward broader energy independence is in renewable energy, but that has largely been opposed by Republicans and some Democrats.

North Carolina is playing a growing role in the push for energy autonomy, from solar panels to new wind farms off the coast, as a recent report shows North Carolina has seen a 265-fold increase in the production of solar energy since 2011.

We sit down with energy experts to learn how North Carolina plays a role in the international effort to wean off dirty energy and maintain a renewable, independent energy system.


Jonathan Phillips, director of the James E. Rogers Energy Access Project at Duke University

Frances Colón, senior director of international climate policy at the Center for American Progress

David Boraks, climate reporter for WFAE

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Jesse Steinmetz is Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.