Nationwide Home Solar Power Contractors and Information
It seems strange that environmentalists would oppose the construction of new solar power plants. Yet that very oddity has become the most talked-about issue facing the solar industry, especially in the desert Southwest, where the most plants are currently slotted to be built. For many environmentalists (some do support the new power plants), the environmental benefits of building utility-scale solar power plants in remote deserts do not outweigh the environmental harm their construction will cause.
The opposition revolves around land, water and wildlife. The vast majority of power plants would be built on pristine, public lands in the Mojave desert. While it may seem like deserts are barren, uninhabitable lands, there is in fact a wealth of flora and fauna existing there, and solar projects would scrape that landscape clean to install the huge mirrors used to concentrate solar energy. Environmentalists want to protect endangered plant and animal species, as well as preserve the general health and beauty of the landscape.
Another huge point of opposition is water usage. Wet-cooled solar thermal power plants require millions of gallons of water for use in cooling towers. That poses a rather obvious problem for power plants set to be located in deserts. Some towns and cities in the region are already forced to pump water in from remote locations. So the environmentalists' question is, where do you plan to find millions of gallons of water for hundreds of new solar power plants in an area where water shortages are already a serious environmental issue?
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