Renewable Energy Helping Communities Recover From Flooding
A large portion of Texas experienced power loss from a severe storm this winter. The outage left individuals without access to heat, fresh food or technological devices. After this disaster, government officials are strategizing ways to prevent this from happening again.
Hurricane Katrina also contributed to mass electricity outages and flooding back in 2005. The Gulf Coast was without power to pump water out of homes and businesses. People had to watch their possessions and finances wash away with the stormwater.
Fortunately, there are sustainable solutions to help communities recover from storm damage.
Renewable Energy Can Help
In the case of Hurricane Katrina, floodwater rose between 10 and 28 feet, devastating coastal Louisiana and Mississippi. Flooding and power loss contributed to 1,833 deaths between the two states. High-risk flood regions can install renewable energy systems for backup power to prevent future failures.
Solar panel installation can provide energy security to coastal regions. Most residential and commercial options mount to roofs to maximize sun exposure and prevent surface damage. Flooding typically only affects the ground floor, so panels remain unaffected. As long as electric wiring is intact, they can work through storms.
Scientists designed these renewable energy devices to withstand a heavy amount of rain and wind to preserve their efficiency during harsh weather conditions. Their durability and resistance make them the perfect energy source in flooded regions. Rain can benefit solar panels by washing away sediment and buildup because clean power boards have a higher efficiency rate than dirty ones.
Solar panel installation in high-risk regions can be especially useful for hospitals and medical centers. They can provide professionals with the resources necessary to address medical emergencies during hurricanes.
Residents can also access power through solar panels during storms. Portable electric generators can deliver energy to individual homes. They take up minimal room and safely operate to control your lights, devices, and small heating and air conditioning systems.
Solar-Powered Sump Pumps
Contaminated floodwater can cause various health problems. Individuals who come in contact with infected stormwater have a high risk of developing skin rashes, infected wounds, stomach issues and tetanus. To limit your exposure to these toxins, you should pump water out of your home as soon as it enters.
If storms knock out your power, you can rely on solar-powered sump pumps to remove water from your home. These devices access their electricity from a small solar panel. The panel and pump connect to a control unit for the resident to access during storms. Power travels through the system to an optimizer, which connects to a water sensor. You can also preprogram these devices to turn on automatically when they detect water.
Reduce Cleanup Costs
After a town suffers losses due to high category storms, it has to find money for cleanup costs. Towns can utilize renewable power to lower the price of their recovery processes. Solar energy is now 70 cents per watt in certain regions.
Renewable energy is cheaper to source than fossil fuels, and it can effectively lower the price of flood recovery. This allows cities to reassign extra money to other vital issues in the community.
How to Protect Your Community
Talk to your local government officials about installing renewable energy sources in frequently flooded regions. Green technology can prevent high cleanup costs, adverse health effects and repeated power outages. They can also protect your town’s residents from exposure to air pollutants that derive from fossil fuels.
These power sources can shrink your community’s carbon footprint. Renewable energy systems eliminate greenhouse gas emissions to limit atmospheric pollution. Discuss these financial and environmental benefits with your peers to increase awareness about renewable energy as a flood recovery method.
Jane Marsh works as an environmental and energy writer. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co.