Environmental Protection

Solar Plants in Mojave Desert Could Help Conservation and Energy Needs

Solar developers are looking to the Mojave Desert for the construction of solar plants that could turn the sun’s heat into electricity.

The construction of solar plants in the Mojave Desert could help create renewable energy sources, but conservationists and Native America tribes are worried that the plants could destroy some of the area’s natural and cultural resources. The federal government has been trying to find a common ground in the conflict between the solar developers and the conservationists and tribes.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced an approval of locations in the desert where plants can and cannot be built. The approved locations are in areas that will benefit the solar industry while also protecting the most environmentally sensitive lands.

Constructing solar plants does not happen overnight. Replacing carbon-intensive power with clean, renewable power will require every possible tool. Rooftop generation and desert solar plants are both needed, along with wind farms, geothermal plants, and ocean-wave power.

Protecting threatened species is important, and so is developing clean power. It is possible to do both, and the federal plan strikes a pretty good compromise among competing interests.

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