This article examines prospective challenges and opportunities for scaling up negative emissions technologies (NETs) through examining how decarbonization practices are evolving in one particular landscape: the Imperial Valley in southeast California, a desert landscape engineered for industrial agriculture.

Wind and solar generation require at least 10 times as much land per unit of power produced than coal- or natural gas-fired power plants, including land disturbed to produce and transport the fossil fuels. Additionally, wind and solar generation are located where the resource availability is best instead of where is most convenient for people and infrastructure, since their “fuel” can’t be transported like fossil fuels.