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Overcoming the Obstacles of Land Use for Renewable Energy

Renewable energy, both wind and solar, takes up a lot of space in places that aren't accustomed to industrial development. Policymakers need strategies and tactics for overcoming the inherent land use challenges presented by renewable energy.
January 21, 2020, 7am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Palm Springs

Samantha Gross writes about the land use complications with renewable energy generation and transmission, and the local opposition that arises as a result. Unfortunately, writes Gross, "[the] inherent attributes of wind and solar generation make conflicts over land use and project siting more likely."

Gross lists more than just a few of those inherent attributes. But there's also reason for hope that some of those inherent attributes and the resulting local opposition can be overcome:

Offshore wind eliminates land use, but it raises opposition among those concerned with the impact on the environment and scenic views. Building on previously disturbed land and combining renewable power with other land uses, like agriculture or building solar on rooftops, can minimize land use conflicts. Community involvement in project planning and regulations for land use and zoning can help to alleviate concerns.

The text sampled here is pulled from the executive summary of a longer report, published this month [pdf], intended to help policymakers overcome land use obstacles standing in the way of a lower-carbon energy system.

Full Story:
Published on Friday, January 17, 2020 in Brookings
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