California releases draft plan for massive renewable energy projects
The U.S. federal government and California released an ambitious roadmap on Tuesday to build massive renewable energy projects in the Golden State’s sun-soaked desert while conserving habitat and animals.
The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan is designed to identify areas with potential to produce renewable energy using solar, wind and geothermal natural energy. The plan also underlined that the project should have minimal impact on species like desert tortoise and a broad variety of avian life.
Releasing the multi-agency draft plan during a press conference at a desert wind farm close to Palm Springs with U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and other officials, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said there were remarkably special places with renewable energy potential in California.
Some energy developers blame hard-to-obtain environmental clearances for higher costs and delays in such projects.
Mark Tholke, Vice President of EDF Renewables energy firm, stressed, “There’s a real urgency for getting projects up as quickly as possible. To meet the challenge of climate change, we need cost-effective large projects.”
Anne Baker of Center for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Technologies said that the 22.5-million acres of public and private land in seven California counties would be sufficient for them to find a way to protect species as well as to develop renewable energy.
California, the most populous state in the U.S., aims to have a third of its energy come from renewable sources by the year of 2020.
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