Chernobyl's Incredible Future: From Atomic Wasteland to Solar Farm, Radioactive Site is Back in Business
The Ukraine government is planning to transform the radioactive wasteland Chernobyl to a large-scale solar farm.
It has been 30 years since the catastrophic event and the government, with its constant need for energy, thinks the uninhabitable zone around the Chernobyl power plant has the potential to serve as a site for renewable energy production.
According to a Bloomberg report, Ukraine seeks to install $1.1 billion of solar panels zone and investors in the U.S. and Canada have already shown interest in the project.
"The Chernobyl site has really good potential for renewable energy," Ukraine's Environment Minister Ostap Semerak told the news site in an interview in London.
"We already have high-voltage transmission lines that were previously used for the nuclear stations, the land is very cheap and we have many people trained to work at power plants."
The Guardian cites that the 6,000 hectares of idle land could provide more than 1,000 megawatts of solar power and 400 megawatts of other renewable energy.
It added that the potential for building a solar farm is high in the area because the Chernobyl's land is cheap and plentiful. Also, the area receives sunshine as strong as in southern Germany.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) already said they are willing to participate in the project by proving loan "as long as the investment proposals and all other environmental matters and risks can be addressed to the Bank's satisfaction."
More important than putting the abandoned site back in business, the Ukraine government said it aims to finally be less dependent on Russia, which had been their source of natural gas for years.
There had been tensions between Ukraine and Russia lately. Thus, energy security is the top most priority of Ukraine.
Oilprice.com said the plan of Ukraine to turn Chernobyl to a solar farm is part of their overall renewable ambitions -- to invest $3 billion in the development of solar power farms in Ukraine by 2020.