Your support of the Wild Energy Initiative’s Concentrating Solar Power Fund supports scientific research towards improving the sustainability of concentrating solar power.
Our research falls at the intersection between concentrating solar energy (CSP) and the environment. We study critical ecological impacts of CSP that make the energy we need for human use more sustainable.
For example, Dr. Steven Grodsky, a postdoctoral scholar, studies the impact of CSP infrastructure on two species of invertebrates that are of mass appeal to many nature lovers—the Queen and Monarch butterfly. Specifically, he explores how changes to their habitat and the health of its host plant, the Mojave Milkweed, might impact their reproductive success. We also conduct research elucidating opportunities to make better decisions on the ground when constructing a CSP power plant. Dr. Rebecca R. Hernandez studies how different land management decisions impact desert vegetation. Some vegetation, like the creosote bush, are not only long-lived but some of the oldest species on Earth—the oldest being 11,300 years old! The research we do helps inform land managers how they can maintain native desert vegetation, ensuring the perpetuity of these long-lived species. Lastly, Jason Whitney, a technician has designed and developed non-destructive soil sensors to study how ground-mounted CSP infrastructure impacts the unique biogeochemistry of desert soils in the Ivanpah Valley, many of which are unstudied!
We currently have the opportunity to study the relationship between CSP and other critical taxa including insects, arachnids, and even kit foxes. Your generosity is critical to our capacity to begin these investigations that delve deeply into understanding the biological and physical world around us as it relates to our rapid renewable energy transition. Please join us and be a part of a growing and committed group of donors who support vibrant science that advances our mission of enhancing sustainability on planet earth for all species and ecosystems that humans depend on.
Our researchers count on donor’s generosity to fund:
- Travel and accommodations to our field site at the Ivanpah Valley Solar Electric Generating Station in the Ivanpah Valley;
- Analysis of vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, and soil samples;
- Salaries and stipends for student internships, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars;
Thank you for making your gift today and supporting our mission at this important time. The Wild Energy Initiative of the John Muir Institute of the Environment facilitates impartial research and education on interactions between energy development and Earth, including its systems and species, to address exigent sustainability issues.