Why More Local Governments Are Rejecting Green-Energy Projects

Despite the United States’ commitment to adopting renewable forms of energy such as solar and wind to help mitigate climate change, recent reports have revealed that a growing number of local governments in the country are refusing to permit solar and wind industrial sites. According to USA Today, local governments countrywide are banning solar and wind energy plants faster than they are building new ones. The report was based on a countrywide analysis that revealed at least 15% of U.S. counties have essentially stopped the installation of utility-scale solar and wind.

USA Today found that local governments are stopping green-energy projects in their jurisdictions through moratoriums, construction impediments, outright bans and a variety of conditions that make it difficult to build green energy. This is in spite of the fact that the United States is currently working to achieve 100% clean energy by the year 2035 and will have to ramp up green-energy adoption rapidly to meet its green-energy goals.

Meeting the 100% green-energy goal will require the deployment of large-scale wind and solar alongside the simultaneous winding down of fossil fuel use. Grace Wu, a University of California professor of energy resources, notes that the U.S. isn’t constructing enough green-energy infrastructure to fulfill its green-energy needs. Coal and oil contribute to the majority of greenhouse gas emissions, but they are entrenched in key industries such as power generation, making them extremely difficult to replace.

Although the U.S. has made some progress in adopting green energy, local government rejections are significantly slowing the pace. Some 180 counties across the country launched their first commercial wind-energy projects during the past decade, putting the country on track to achieving its emission-reduction goals. However, more than twice as many blocked wind-energy projects within the same period and essentially negated all the progress made on wind energy.

On the other hand, an equal number of states both approved and denied solar projects in 2023, making it the first year on record with a similar number of accepted and rejected solar projects. In extreme cases, states such as Vermont, Tennessee and Connecticut have passed near-statewide restrictions on large-scale wind and solar projects.

Former Iowa state senator Jeff Danielsen says that while 15% of counties may seem insignificant, the ramifications can be significant. These counties are mostly located in regions with extremely high potential for wind and solar energy, Danielson said. Consequently, it will be difficult for the U.S. to achieve its emission goals if several counties do not buy into the green-energy plan.

The reasons for the rejection of green-energy projects span a gamut of factors, including spoiled views, the excessive noise generated by wind turbines, changes to local wind patterns, death of bats and birds caught in wind turbines, and the taking of agriculturally productive land out of commission in order to set up these facilities, among other reasons.

This resistance to new projects could give green-energy companies such as FuelPositive Corp. (TSX.V: NHHH) (OTCQB: NHHHF) some food for thought going forward as they hash out their expansion plans across the North American region and beyond.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to FuelPositive Corp. (TSX.V: NHHH) (OTCQB: NHHHF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/NHHHF

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