On Tuesday the U.S. Department of the Interior released the Draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) for public review. This is the latest step for the plan, in a process which has lasted six years so far and covers land use in 89,000 square kilometers of both private and public lands in the California desert.
The plan seeks to identify appropriate areas for renewable energy development and to set aside other areas for wildlife, cultural and recreational uses, and is a collaborative effort between state of California and federal agencies.
These agencies have approved 17 renewable energy projects in lands covered by the DRECP since the process began, for a total of 4.8 GW. This includes the Ivanpah CSP project, which has been sharply criticized by environmentalists, who are also fighting the proposed Palen CSP project.
The plan seeks to avoid such future conflicts, and lays out six alternative scenarios including one where siting approvals continue unchanged on a project-by-project basis. Conservation groups are far from satisfied with the plan's Preferred Alternative, which sets aside 8,000 square kilometers for renewable energy development and another 740 square kilometers of variance lands.
It appears to have extremely expansive development areas which are not well thought through, Center for Biological Diversity Lead Attorney Lisa Belenky told PV Magazine. Leaving in a lot of gray areas is not really a positive thing in our view.
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.
Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.
You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.
Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.