Student’s Corner

Have you ever wondered why your hometown doesn’t have solar panels? Or wind turbines? The National Resource Defense Council Renewable Energy Map shows in detail which areas are of greatest potential for the different types of renewable energy and what facilities are in either in place or will be.

There are 5 different categories: solar, wind, cellulosic biofuel, enhanced geothermal,  and biogas. For each resource, the map changes to show which areas have strong to weak capacities. For a more focused view, you can enter a zip code and see with even more detail. There are also options to display planned or existing wind farms, advanced biofuel facilities, solar installations, low impact hydroelectricity, biodigesters, and geothermal. It becomes very clear where undeveloped areas exist and which areas would be undesirable for a certain type of renewable energy. For example, Rochester seems to have decent capacity for wind energy, while none for solar.

The map is part of the NRDC’s promotion campaign and that “investing in renewable energy development will create good, green jobs, boost local and regional economies, strengthen our national security and help curb global warming.” So if you’re considering investing in renewable technology, you can use this map to determine which areas would be the most efficient and productive. And it’s intuitive and fun to use!


By Alanna Scheinerman, Class of 2013