Desert Renewables’ Land Fraction of Existing Uses

By Published On: April 30, 2010

The state’s 33 percent renewable energy goals could be met with renewable projects sited on 50,000 acres of the desert land, according to Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies representative Ryan Drobek. In contrast, today 700,000 acres are dedicated to offroad vehicle use and another 3.3 million acres are used by the military, Drobek told a panel of scientists April 22. The panel is finalizing recommendations on how best to how to develop renewable energy in the California desert while minimizing ecological impacts for state and federal agencies The scientists are helping the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan agency group develop a comprehensive plan streamlining permits for renewable energy projects in the California desert while conserving natural resources. The current land use in California’s Desert Region is as follows: Desert Tortoise (Protection) – 4.8 million acres; Mojave Ground Squirrel (Protection) – 1.7 million acres; Defense Department – 3.3 million acres; Off Highway Vehicles – 0.7 million acres; Renewable Energy (needed for state’s 2020 goals) – 0.05 million acres; Mitigation for Renewable Energy – Unknown acreage. (Source: Center for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Technologies, 2010.

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