Why Agricultural Farms are Being Converted into Solar Farms in the American Midwest
“Why are agricultural farms being turned into solar farms in the American Midwest?”
A crisis and a boom is running through the American Midwest right now. Crop prices have collapsed do much that in some areas farming yields $0/acre. But due to new renewable energy incentives being passed in Illinois and Minnesota and the fact that solar provides a fixed return, many farmers are installing solar panels over their cropland. As a result, Illinois and Minnesota re experiencing tremendous growth rates in their solar industries. This is Why Agricultural Farms are Being Converted into Solar Farms in the American Midwest.
Image credit https://www.washingtonpost.com
“How can we heal an area from mining activities?”
Mining activities can destroy the face of the Earth. However, with the proper planning, a closed mineland can be restored to proper functioning. This involves the use of groundwater treatment, replacement of soil, or tree-planting initiatives. This Mining Remediation process is used all over the world to restore natural landscapes.
“How can mines operate without a land-cover?”
In the past, mines were made by digging individual holes under the surface of the ground. But with the advance of new technology, this may no longer be necessary for regions where ore is close to the surface. The surface of mineral areas can now be blasted out through dynamite and then carved through by giant cranes. This leaves a giant hole in which minerals can be easily accessible. Although this Open-Pit Mining technique might be economically efficient in many cases, it produces large amounts of environmental damage. Rare Earth Minerals are often excavated through open-pit mining.
“How can we have hyper distributed electricity generation?”
With the advent of climate change, distributed energy resources are proliferating at ever-expanding rates. However, sometimes this decentralized generation must be taken to the utmost levels to ensure infrastructure vitality. Anything of less than or equal to 500 kW of distributed energy generation is known as Dispersed Generation. An Example of dispersed generation includes rooftop photovoltaics.
California might be 100% Carbon-Free by 2045
“Will the world’s 5th largest economy be carbon-free by 2045?”
States around the world are launching bolder and bolder Renewable Energy targets. But one place might be shattering the all-time record. California, the 5th largest economy in the world, has recently passed in its Assembly SB 100, which mandates that the state must achieve 60% renewables by 2030 and 100% by 2045! If this passes the Senate and gets the Governor’s signature then this idea will become reality!
Air Pollution Sensors
“How can we detect air pollution?”
Air pollution is one of the most harmful side effects of industrialized activity. Whether it be shipping in the Port of Los Angeles, manufacturing in Shenzhen, or vehicular smog in Delhi, air pollution can seriously destroy public health. But how can we use our engineering mindset to quantify this? Well, we know that sensors are commonly used for detection, engineers have created Air Pollution Sensors to solve this crisis. Air Pollution Sensors can be configured to detect five types of pollutants: ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrous oxide.
Design for the Environment
“How can we design items so that they are not harmful to human health and the environment?”
Traditionally, human-made items and products have been designed without regard for the environment. However, how can we use our engineering mindset differently? Well, through one method known as Design for the Environment, items will be designed such that processing, manufacturing, packaging, and energy efficiency of their life-cycle will use as little resources as possible.
Biogas from Pig Farms
“How can we make sure to not waste pig waste?”
Every day, pigs in farms make waste. And oftentimes this waste is thought to be useless. However, energy officials from Duke University think a bit differently. Plans are being made to create an energy system that can take in pig waste in surrounding North Carolina farms and use it as power. Therefore, we can create biogas from pig farms!
Cradle to Gate Life-Cycle Assessments
“How can we analyze the portion of the lifecycle of a product?”
Life-cycle assessments are done on projects to determine their total impact upon the environment. However, sometimes we may only want to know the impact of a portion of their life, specifically from resource extraction up until it leaves the factory. One way to accomplish this is to use something known as a cradle to gate life-cycle assessment. This process is very useful for manufacturers to determine what their contribution to climate change is.