Amid the current push for clean energy by President Barack Obama, Google Inc. and environmentalists have launched a map service to help renewable energy project managers see off-limits areas in the western U.S. where new infrastructure would cause significant damage to the environment.
The tool, called Path to Green Energy, allows users to see maps of endangered species habitats, national parks and other forms of protected land. It aims to support renewable energy planning and development without putting the environment at risk, the Natural Resources Defense Council in a statement.
The map service highlights legally restricted areas that should be avoided and areas proposed for energy development.
We must strike a winning balance to meet growing energy needs and this project shows we can, Frances Beinecke, President of the organization said in a statement.
The interactive map has been available in Google Earth's software since April 1. It was developed by the National Audubon Society and the Natural Resources Defense Council.