Roof top solar panels may be better for the environment than the large solar projects rushing to take over large chunks of public land in the Southwestern United States.
Billions of dollars in tax incentives, cash grants and loan guarantees have brought hundreds of large solar companies to the open deserts to cash in on the sun’s rays.
Some advocates are claiming that the governments push for renewable energy may be overshadowing the deserts ecological balance.
The majority of the solar plants will be built on public undeveloped land, turning these sites into permanent industrial zones. Solar Done Right, a coalition of public land activists, believes the government could take advantage of already disturbed lands. The EPA has identified hundreds of thousands of acres of such sites.
The massive solar power plants will do irreversible damage to our deserts. Threatening rare species of animals and plants, using precious groundwater, and creating traffic to and from these locations. These lands are also home to historic, prehistoric and culturally important sites.
Advocates believe the vast urban landscape is a better alternative for large solar projects than bulldozing our deserts.
The government owns many buildings with large flat roofs that are suitable for large scale solar projects. Already across the United States, post offices, state capitals, universities, large retail chains, homeowners and many more are putting up roof top solar panels.
In our rush to go green, we need to slow down and look at all the possibilities and alternatives to make sure we aren’t sacrificing one resource to save another.