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Iowa experiment tests potential to pair solar with carbon sequestration

image credit: Credit: Werner Slocum / NREL
James Giordano's picture
Principal Resource Innovations

Jim is a Principal with Resource Innovation's Utility Services business. Jim has more than 25 years experience in the field of energy management. He leads teams responsible for the design and...

  • Member since 2020
  • 15 items added with 2,217 views
  • Sep 15, 2021 9:30 pm GMT
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When it comes to the fight against climate change, one things is very clear -- there is no single solution to the problem. It's going to take every tool in the toolbox, plus some that have yet to be invented. Were I the global czar of climate research funding, my mantra would be "nothing is off the table."

Having grown up in Iowa, with farmers in the family, this article caught my eye and got me thinking more about carbon sequestration as a tool in the battle against climate change. 

Iowa experiment tests potential to pair solar with carbon sequestration (renewableenergyworld.com)

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The thing that I like about this project is that it is not just a science experiment to identify plants that have the greatest potential to capture carbon, but it also has a financial component that seeks to address the economic aspects. I am a huge fan of projects like "8 Billion Trees" that focus on large scale forest restoration (for more reasons than just carbon sequestration), but asking the general population to open their charitable purse-strings only goes so far. We also need to pursue solutions that provide economic motivation to businesses and individuals to invest in carbon mitigation solutions.

As this other interesting article from UC Davis points out, there may be regional situations where grasslands are a more reliable carbon sink than trees (such as in the dry, fire-ridden western US), but on a global scale it's not grass OR trees, it's grass AND trees. As I said, nothing is off the table!

Grasslands More Reliable Carbon Sink than Trees - Science and Climate (ucdavis.edu) 

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 15, 2021

We also need to pursue solutions that provide economic motivation to businesses and individuals to invest in carbon mitigation solutions.

It becomes even more important for farmers who see the impacts of climate change firsthand-- changing climates are making growing seasons less profitable for them, so by engaging in projects like this they can not only be a part of the solution but diversify their profit streams for good measure!

James Giordano's picture
James Giordano on Sep 16, 2021

Agreed Matt!

Ivson Dos Anjos's picture
Ivson Dos Anjos on Sep 16, 2021

There are many challenges in adopting solutions that can mitigate Years of wrong actions that caused all the damages observed today. Many solutions are on the table the challenge is to choose the right one.

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Sep 17, 2021

James, Now that is synergy at it's best. They of course want to pait solar with battery storage which is happening more and more for the full value of both solar and storage. The GRID has dreamed about storage and with the fast improving lithium batteries we now have both. 

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