According to a recent CNet Article, companies seeking to establish solar power farms, especially near protected wildlife areas, face a long, byzantine, government permit process. However, there are a large number of ideal locations for solar power farms in the south-western US which include 15 million locations contaminated by toxic waste.
The Environmental Agency, which has cleaned up 850,000 acres, has produced a map for Google Earth showing the potential for solar, wind, and biomass plants across 480,000 sites marred by toxic industrial waste and mining. It’s astonishing how many of these sites fall in excellent zones. Considering that the land, even if it is “cleaned up”, is not suitable for much else and the on-going energy crisis, which is only going to get worse, I think it’s a fantastic idea – and one of the best I’ve come across yet! So if you’re a corporation big enough to negotiate your own private energy contracts, I urge you to not only push your suppliers to move to green energy, but to consider investing in projects that use the cleaned-up sites, as such projects will likely clear red-tape faster, reduce our dependence on oil, and deliver savings to your bottom line. (After all, the land’s going to be cheaper than dirt!)