Today’s Solutions: December 02, 2021

We talk a lot about how the expansion of renewable energy will usher in the age of fossil fuel-free power, but where exactly do these expansions need to take place and why aren’t they already? Some areas, like Massachusetts and California, are embracing offshore wind, but many more will have to get on board if we’re going to achieve a carbon neutral future. To address this, Princeton University’s Net-Zero America Report has mapped out a feasible path to renewables expansion and some of the factors preventing this progress.

The “Not in my backyard” challenge

Many people embrace wind and solar energy, but when you propose a wind farm in their neighborhood, they scoff at the idea. In states like Wyoming, residents are interested in the job opportunities that wind farms would provide for their blustery communities, but they also fear that turbines would ruin the vistas that make their state a prime outdoor tourism destination. 

Permits and conservation 

Another challenge facing renewables is the permits required for approval. Fortunately, new solar and wind legislation is helping to fast track these projects which are needed as the study estimates that 125 gigawatts of renewable energy will be generated on public land in the coming decades. A big part of this permitting process involves environmental impact studies. The installation of renewable infrastructure on decommissioned oil fields is one way to address this challenge. 


In many areas of the US, powerlines serve to transport energy from one place to another, but in states with heavy snow and wind, above-ground power lines are not feasible. This is why it’s so important to expand green energy infrastructure and build localized power grids to improve both green energy access and grid resilience. 

Technological solutions

Technological advances such as vertical turbines, localized grids, and strategic panel placement can all break down logistical barriers to green energy generation. For local, state, and federal officials seeking to make a green future a reality, the full Princeton report offers five in-depth scenarios for how renewable energy infrastructure can significantly expand in the US using a combination of solar and wind projects, localized grids, and improved efficiency strategies. Areas for solar expansion include Florida, California, and New Mexico while wind energy development is largely clustered around the Midwest. 

Source study: Princeton University – Net Zero America

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Online mushroom hotline puts the power of crowdsourcing in poison control

Ninety nine percent of mushrooms are non-toxic, but the one percent which are can have fatal consequences if accidentally ingested. For people with pets or young children, a seemingly harmless patch of fungi in the ... Read More

30 White rhinos make record journey to Akagera national park

White rhinos are classified as near threatened, with numbers dropping due to poaching. In a bid to improve the outlook for the species, 30 of these giant animals recently made the journey from South Africa ... Read More

This cutting edge camera is the size of a grain of salt

Micro-cameras are used in virtually all industries. In the medical field, these tiny cameras have helped facilitate less invasive medical imaging practices and improved robotic surgical tools. Structures of molecules and neural pathways have been ... Read More

Research shows gestures take the guesswork out of learning a new language

It’s common knowledge that picking up a new language is easier as a child, while your brain is still flexible—but learning a foreign tongue as an adult is another story. Well, according to new research, ... Read More

This impact-absorbing technology will save lives (and traffic poles)

Crashing a vehicle is already a traumatizing and possibly fatal accident, but if the object that the vehicle collides into is a rigid street light pole that snaps off its base due to the impact, ... Read More

New York City opens the country’s first safe injection site

Harm reduction strategies are gaining traction as a more effective way to quell the ever-growing opioid crisis. These strategies, like making clean needle exchanges available and decriminalizing drug possession, understand that criminalization alone will not ... Read More