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Location, location, location.

Place matters a lot when it comes to the impact solar panels can have on the environment. The biggest environmental benefit comes from regions powered by coal. If your local electric utility runs on coal and you install solar panels on your home, it means that the power plant doesn’t have to burn as much coal to power your home, and that is really good for the climate.

In this episode of the Ways & Means podcast: getting strategic when it comes to solar subsidies. This is the second episode in our series, Climate Change Solutions.

Featured Audio

Getting Strategic with Solar


  • Joe Opyoke, retired coal miner
  • Elizabeth Opyoke Cruikshank, Solar Holler in West Virginia
  • Bobby Harris, PhD Environmental Economics and Policy, Duke, ’22
  • Steven Sexton, professor, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University


Thank you

Duke student Joy Liu designed the artwork for the season.


Duke Climate Commitment

Season 8 of Ways & Means is made possible thanks to support from the Office of the Provost at Duke University. This collaboration reflects the Duke Climate Commitmentwhich unites the university’s education, research, operations, and public service missions to address the climate crisis. The commitment builds on Duke’s longstanding leadership in climate, energy, and sustainability to educate a new generation of climate-fluent innovators and create equitable solutions for all

More about the Duke climate commitment

About our host

The Ways & Means host this season is journalist Simran Sethi. Designated one of the top eight women saving the planet by Marie Claire, Sethi has written for outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and The Guardian. She is the author of Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love, which was named one of the best food books of 2016 by Smithsonian. She has served as host of NPR’s podcast Life Kit and is the creator of the podcast The Slow Melt.

More about Ways & Means

About Ways & Means

Ways & Means is an award-winning documentary podcast produced by the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. Each season is hosted by a journalist. The season 6 series Arc of Justice, won a national award from the Association of Black journalists, a Gracie and a national CASE Award. It was turned into a four-part radio series in partnership with North Carolina Public Radio/WUNC and was distributed nationally to public radio stations by American Public Media. 

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