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New Documentary To Explore Looming Electric Crisis

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Over the next two weeks Detroit Public Television will present a documentary series, “Beyond The Light Switch,” which takes a new look at the controversy and urgency surrounding the challenge of developing a new infrastructure for electricity in the United States.
 
The two-hour documentary will be shown on Detroit Public Television in two parts –­ the first from 9 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday Nov. 16 and the second on Tuesday Nov. 23 from 9 to 10 p.m.
 
By 2050, experts say the United States must turn over nearly its entire electric power plant fleet, cut carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent and completely update its power grid.
 
All of this must happen while demand for electricity is expected to rise by 30 percent. The documentary explores the possible paths forward including coal, natural gas, renewables, natural gas, solar, the ‘super grid’ and others to determine what achieves the goals, creates jobs and gains a measure of energy security.
 
Produced by Detroit Public Television and guided by an independent advisory panel convened by the University of Michigan-Dearborn, “Beyond The Light Switch” is hosted by David Biello, energy and environment editor at Scientific American. He takes viewers to a first-of-its-kind coal plant in West Virginia, gas wells in Pennsylvania and Texas, inside a nuclear reactor under construction in Tennessee, to wind farms along the Hood River Valley in Oregon and to the shores of Cape Cod, among other places around the country that showcase the options for our energy future.
 
Detroit Public Television is currently talking to several national public television programming providers about national distribution of “Beyond The Light Switch.”
 
“This new documentary is the latest example of how Detroit Public TV renews its commitment to exploring the issues most important to our community and country,” said Rich Homberg, president and general manager of Detroit Public Television. “‘Beyond The Light Switch’ adds a much needed balanced perspective to a debate that could be more heated and more critical than anything since healthcare.”
 
The following contributed to the production of “Beyond The Light Switch:” American Electric Power, DTE Energy, Duke Energy, Edison Electric Institute, Entergy Corp., Exelon, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the National Electrical Contractors Association, NextEra Energy Inc., the Nuclear Energy Institute, Southern Co., the Wisconsin Energy Foundation and Xcel Energy.      

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