Siting issues are some of the largest impediments to expanding the role of solar power in our energy mix. Environmentalists argue that there’s enough already-disturbed lands to build on without damaging or destroying intact ecosystems.
Data collected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) bolster the green position. According to the EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Land program, there are nearly 15 million acres of contaminated land across the U.S. This total includes brownfields, abandoned mines, Superfund sites and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act areas. A significant portion of this total is suitable for utility-scale solar projects or wind farms.
In the video below, the EPA’s Lura Matthews talks about the potential for developing renewable energy sources on these lands.
For more information:
EPA Fact Sheet (pdf)
Lura Matthews, EPA, interviewed at PV America 2011