14 Million Acres of Land in US For Solar Energy Wind Farms and Other Eco Friendly Products
Today the U.S. EPA is pushing ahead with just such a plan, with the National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) making an effort to evaluate brownfields and Superfund places for renewable energy. This program is known as Re-Powering America’s Land. Additionally, it has a green jobs angle, through Recovery Act funding. Many of the potential sites are located in or near existing residential areas and may offer new jobs for local inhabitants.
But wait, there’s much more. In addition to supplying new green jobs and clean power for community use or the broader grid, the program additionally focuses on eco-friendly remediation, which makes use of renewable energy to power up products used for site clean-up. Once you add that up – harvesting clean energy from property that’s blighted and functional for not much else, while creating jobs and re-establishing the site, you have to wonder why any person would like to continue blowing up America’s mountains, compromising our own water source, and destroying the Gulf of Mexico in quest for non-renewable fuels.
Reclaiming Land for Renewable Power
Among the 14 million acres of categorized land inside the U.S., conditions at the sites could differ widely. Together with brownfields and Superfund sites, EPA and NREL are considering land classified within the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. This means the sites can vary from individual abandoned factories with minimum dangerous resources involved, to a portion of a toxic stew that blights an entire location, like the Hazleton area within Pennsylvania that contains the Jeddo Mine Tunnel, infamous for expelling countless gallons of contaminated water from empty mines every day for the past century.
Finding a Spot for Solar Arrays and Wind Farms
In addition to assessing the places for aspects that could enhance (or impede) energy gathering from the sun’s rays as well as wind, EPA along with NREL are also looking at the type of installation that a specific site can host. The typical solar set up, for example, does not require a foundation to be dug, so it can very easily be set up over a capped landfill. For wind generators, a system of concrete footings and supporting cables can be constructed, rather than drilling into polluted ground.
A Brand New Energy Potential
It may be said – therefore I will say it – that formerly non-renewable fuels saved the U.S. from turning into a barren wasteland without trees. Seriously, it’s hard to think about how we might have powered up to this point without burning up each and every stick of wood across the nation. But times change, and our own fossil fuel pals have outlived their stay. They had been of little use during the birth of this country, and as we push straight into a new energy future they will go back to that status. It’s only a question of when, not really if.
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