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Power, empowerment and clean essentials

The use of renewables improves public health and air quality, has no emissions, and provides jobs and new revenue streams


Power has been a theme running throughout our highlighted news stories this week from hybrid energy storage systems, to future distribution and security. However, empowerment is the order of the day with the first utility scale solar facility on Moapa Paiutes tribal land, providing lease revenues and jobs for tribal members whilst preserving land and tribal heritage.


The solar plant is set to service 118, 000 homes in the LA area, dwellings which have previously been powered by Arizona coal.


I’m writing this on International Poetry Day, and there’s something poetic here about the move from fossil fuel to clean energy. According to reports, the tribe has lived with the polluting effects of a coal plant situated next to their land for almost 50 years, with an ash dump and pond of waste water as close as 2,000 yards away resulting in cases of chronic asthma.


In the last decade, tribal groups have adopted renewables for solutions to their own particular needs. The Hopi tribe has created the Hopi Solar Enterprise to electrify homes on the Northern Arizona reservation. The Blue Lake Mancheria tribe in Northern California was recognised by President Obama as a Climate Change Champion in 2015-2016 with its programme of reducing greenhouse gases, and using renewables for further energy efficiencies and savings.


The use of renewables improves public health and air quality, has no emissions, and provides jobs and new revenue streams. The US under Trump seems to love fossil fuels, while in the UK investment in renewable energy is in decline. On the other hand China, a great coal producer, is upping its game to dominate what is one of the world’s fastest growing sectors by pumping billions into it.


By 2050, it’s predicted that over 6 billion people will live in connected urban environments, where efficiency and sustainability are vital. Clean, cheap energy is an absolute, no matter how powerful old allegiances or who your mates are.


Melony Rocque


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