Brownfields May Be Great Site for Renewable Energy Production
Within the realm of all things climatic, American citizens have been briefed regarding most contemporary environmental matters including global warming, renewable energy, fossil fuels, etc. We’ve heard environmentalists through the magisterium of scientific fact tell us that we need to act now in order to save the planet. With equal gusto, we’ve heard the cynics and skeptics shun the prospect of global warming for various reasons both self-serving and otherwise. However, though science is not omnipotent and should always be questioned and argued, there are certain facts put forth by scientists that are difficult to dispute. One such indisputable fact is that by the year 2030, electricity production within the U.S. will have to increase by about 30% in order to accommodate the ever-growing need. In order to fulfill this need, more than 320 mid-sized, coal-fired power plants will be needed by 2030.
Another rather pressing fact is the amount of atmospheric carbon that has been deemed environmentally safe. Measured in parts per million, that magic number is 350. According to CO2Now.org, the atmospheric carbon measured for the month of January, 2010 was 388.63 ppm. These numbers resonate within a person and settle behind the eyes, burning after one turns away, like the silhouette of a candle’s flame long after one closes their eyes.
It is time we begin to focus on alternative energy sources that free us from the tyranny of fossil fuels for reasons both environmental and economic. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun a new initiative to help aid us in the breaking away of fossil fuel reliance. Through its RE-Powering America’s Land (RE-PAL) initiative, the EPA has discovered brownfields that may be re-designated for renewable energy production. Through the reutilization of these brownfields for renewable energy production, we will be able to produce energy locally instead of building large, expensive, and harmful power plants. We will also be able to create clean, renewable energy independently, and most importantly, promote green jobs in otherwise poor rural and urban communities.