The elements known as ‘rare earths,’ are a relatively new addition to the periodic table. And they have changed the world, ushering in the new age of technology because of their unique properties. They allow us to make smaller and more efficient devices; everything from smart phones to wind turbines.
Metals known as ‘rare earth elements” are in growing demand worldwide. They’re vital for many of the high tech devices we all use. China has been the major source for rare earth minerals, but recently cut its exports. This has geologists in the U.S. searching for domestic deposits.
If the term ‘rare earths’ is not familiar to you, the high tech devices that depend on them are. From the ear buds for your cell phone, to advanced medical devices like MRIs, and new technologies such as wind turbines, magnetic refrigeration and electric cars
There are now more than 240 farmers' markets statewide, an increase of about 180% since 2006.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says if every household in the state spends ten-bucks a week on locally-grown food, it would mean a $1.6 billion dollar investment back into the economy.
You can find a list of farmers' markets across Virginia here.
In 2013, the Solar Energy Industries Association says installations were up 41% nationwide, with North Carolina ranking third for installed solar capacity and Maryland 16th, but neighboring Virginia was far down the list at number 26.
Thirty states, including West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, have land-based wind farms, but Virginia has none.
Virginia is blessed with wind – in the mountains and along its shores, so you might expect this state to jump quickly into the business of generating electricity from turbines.
Likewise, there’s plenty of sunshine, but Dominion Virginia Power’s preferred plan for 2027 shows just four percent of our electricity coming from renewable sources. Appalachian Power will be at 9% by 2020, but most of that energy will come from existing hydro-electric dams.