Environmental Impacts of Renewable Energy Technologies

When it comes to generating electricity, it’s already given that renewable energy sources produce lesser amounts of global warming emissions than fossil fuel. By this reason, it has made renewable energy sources as a favored alternative. But, have you ever wondered about the harmful effects of renewable energy production and how a lot of us tend to overlook it?

In any case, the use of renewable energy sources has enormous environmental consequences. Tons of carbon dioxide or CO2 are produced from electricity generation. The mass exploitation of renewable sources of energy will surely create disastrous outcomes to the environment.

The impact of these alternatives may vary depending on its location, climate, and other factors. We should also consider the environmental effects of technologies we adopt. For you to know about the adverse impacts of substituting notoriously on renewable energy options, keep on reading.

Wind Power

Wind power is one of the cleanest ways to produce electricity.  For instance, when wind power is in use, it does not produce pollution and global warming emissions. Wind is also considered as an affordable, abundant, and inexhaustible energy source which makes it a viable alternative to fossil fuels.

However, the use of wind power has a variety of environmental impacts that need to be mitigated and recognized. Efficient wind power generation requires the construction of tall towers, which is greatly opposed by some people because it creates an unsightly appearance.

Also, the source of wind energy has caused thousands of birds and bats death from bumping into wind turbines due to the changes in air pressure generated by the spinning turbines. Keeping the wind turbines unmoving during the time of low wind speeds could reduce the number of deaths of birds and bats.

Additionally, when the wind stops blowing, electricity continues to be provided by other forms of generation, such as hydro or gas. These power serve as a backup generator for producing electricity. However, these powers also cause harmful effects on the environment.

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is energy sourced from the earth’s heat. Some plants are located near geothermally active spots. The impacts of these plants will vary depending on the conversion of cooling technology (water-cooled and air-cooled) and the conversion of resource to electricity (flash, direct, or binary).

Others require deep drilling to get to the heated resources. The drilling needs more extensive land use and introduces risks of shifting earth. Water-cooled plants may dump heated water back into the streams and rivers which will massively kill the wildlife.

Biomass for Electricity

Sources of biomass resources for manufacturing electricity are diverse. Including energy crops like switchgrass, forest products, agricultural waste, and urban waste. The kind of feedstock and how it is developed dramatically affect land use.

Biomass power plants share some similarities with fossil fuel power plants. People considered burning biomass as the best alternative to burning fossil fuels. The burning of animal and plant material to produce electricity can put pollutants into the air, like any fossil fuel plant.

Moreover, the fuel or the feedstock that goes into a plant can be controlled and monitored. If they are not appropriately managed, too much feedstock can be removed, which will result in harming the environment.

Solar Power

In comparison to conventional energy sources, solar power gives a more significant amount of environmental benefits, thus contributing to the sustainable development of human activities. However, the vast scale deployment of solar panels also has to face negative ecological implications.

Solar panels are typically placed on existing structures, but the new large-scale projects are planned to be built in open areas. These structures require land use, which dramatically impacts wildlife and habitat loss. Indeed, when we talk about the most plentiful source of energy in the world, the sun quickly crosses our minds.

Going solar is a great way to offset energy costs, but we must also consider the effects it can give to our environment. To know more about energy consumption and how to efficiently manage your energy needs, Astral Energy LLC and other energy providers can help you with it.

Even though solar panels are not actively generating much at night, they still work because the solar system is connected to the utility grid. Solar produces kilowatt hours of energy. An alternative backup plan for this is getting a battery which will serve as a storage of power that the sun creates and then use it at different hours of the day.

Hydroelectric Power

Hydroelectric generation is often described as the ideal source of energy. Simple, non-pollutant, low operating cost and maintenance, and it runs as long as the rivers shall flow from the mountains to the sea.

There is always a definite adverse effect that arises from the creation of the reservoir and alteration of natural water flow. Hydroelectric stations generate electricity from exploiting the natural forces of gravity. Some issues are raised about altering the natural environment and loss of habitat for certain species.

Nuclear Power

Nuclear power has been considered as an answer to the need for a clean energy source and domestic energy. However, the use of this form of electricity does not come without a set of consequences. These consequences could range from gaseous emissions, social problems, and environmental impacts.

Nuclear plants use diesel generators as a means for backup electric power in times of emergencies. These diesel generators release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere which consist of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and others. These gases are considered as harmful to the environment.

Moreover, the setting up of a nuclear plant needs a wide and large area that is ideally situated near a natural water body. This kind of set-up usually ends up upsetting the ecological balance of the region and disturbing the natural habitat of some creatures. People living near the area where the nuclear plants are situated also feared the threat of being exposed to the unprecedented levels of radiation.


Renewable energy is considerably more environmentally friendly alternative than fossil fuel generation. However, renewable energy carries the risk of harming the natural environment. The impacts mentioned above are wide-ranging, extending from land and water use to animal habitat concerns.

We should learn to take good care of our environment as nature is continuously changing. By being efficient and clean in our ways, we allow future generations to experience the comfort we’re experiencing today.

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