It’s been sixty years since the first solar panel was developed by Bell Laboratories, and more than twenty years since the first solar plant began feeding power into the grid in California, but here in Virginia there are fewer than a thousand households producing and selling electricity back to Dominion Power.
Wind turbines are also rare, but reports that could change quickly if government and the public got on board.
Representatives of Virginia Clean Cities joined car manufacturers and industry experts at a Richmond Expo to showcase new technologies and vehicles powered by natural gas. They say such vehicles can produce significantly lower levels of emissions than traditional fuel sources….and that switching one waste truck has the pollution-reduction impact of removing 325 cars from the road.
Wildlife officials will introduce more elk to far Southwestern Virginia later this week to help re-establish a herd there. Elk were a popular attraction in far Southwestern Virginia during the early 1800s but they were hunted into extinction by the time of the Civil War. The restoration effort to bring elk back is entering its third and final year. In 2012, 16 Rocky Mountain elk were brought over from Kentucky to a 12 hundred 50 square mile preserve spanning Buchanan, Dickenson, and Wise Counties. Ten arrived last year.
An article in the scientific journal “Nature” recently concluded that the oldest trees in the forest grow faster and pull more carbon out of the air than young trees do. Today, ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the original old growth forest is in the U.S. is gone, but activists are working to preserve what’s left. An organization called “The Old Growth Forest Network” is looking to certify one in every county. In some Virginia counties, that won't be possible.