Efforts to bring renewables and jobs to Native lands
August 2019—Native American tribes are taking advantage of funding to develop renewable power on their lands. Despite having great access to sun and wind, a significant percentage have now electricity in their homes (14 percent in 2000).
This article highlights how new sources of funding and programs are helping to correct this. https://www.forbes.com/sites/energyinnovation/2019/06/24/could-this-new-approach-unlock-gigawatts-of-native-american-solar-energy-potential/#a7b997362509
In Arizona, the Navajo coal plant is being shut down and the Grand Canyon Trust has been helping them try to backfill their job losses. But at the Alliance, we are trying to find out if anyone explored the feasibility of switching the coal plant to a waste-to-energy plant. All the infrastructure is there: building, boilers, generator, transmission lines. Maybe some of that would have to be upgraded but it would still be easier than starting from scratch. And they already have people trained to run a thermal power plant. Why not burn waste that can’t be recycled instead of coal? These clean-burning plants are all over Europe. The tribe is apparently pursuing solar farms, but those aren’t likely to provide as many long term, high paying jobs. We’ll let you know what we discover.