In the last decade deserted land, outside capital cities has been used by mining companies to drill for natural resources at a heavy cost to the environment. That is all about to change. The US federal government, together with the private sector is increasing efforts to find land suitable for green energy projects. The Environment Protection Agency, believes that there is close to 500,000 available sites in the United States alone. Key components are exposure to sun and wind.
The federal government and the private sector have launched new efforts to determine ideal sites for solar and wind energy projects in the United States.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department posted new tools April 25 for evaluating commercial and industrial rooftops, parking lots, and contaminated lands for solar and wind energy potential.
The tools, which include solar and wind “decision trees,” will help state and local governments and landowners to identify the best sites without technical expertise, according to EPA.
EPA estimates there are 490,000 contaminated sites covering almost 15 million acres across the United States, in both urban and rural areas. Reusing this land for renewable energy projects could provide economic and other benefits.
“Tapping sun and wind power at brownfield sites, rooftops, parking lots, and abandoned land could provide untapped gigawatts of clean energy,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest, in a statement.
The tools, as well as a related podcast by Mathy Stanislaus, EPA’s assistant administrator for solid waste and emergency response, are available at http://www.epa.gov/renewableenergyland.