Where to Take a Tour of the World’s Power Plants
From Nevada’s Hoover Dam to a geothermal plant next to an Icelandic volcano, these six power stations open their doors to visitors
- By Marina Koren
- Smithsonian.com, May 23, 2013
In nations around the world, concerns have been growing about the greenhouse gas emissions that come from burning coal or natural gas for power. And after the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, some countries worried about the safety of their nuclear plants have gone so far as to shut theirs down. Clean, safer renewable resources—such as hydropower, tidal, biofuel, solar and wind—are being used in ever greater amounts to help the world meet its energy needs. In Mexico, for example, the country’s energy policy calls for increasing total carbon dioxide-free power generation by 8 percent by 2024. And this March, solar power accounted for 100 percent of new energy produced on the American grid.
But the newest and most innovative power plants under construction today stand in the shadow of predecessors that have been churning away, sometimes for decades. Here are some of the world’s most impressive renewable energy plants worth touring.