I endorse all the new initiatives to generate electricity by use of renewable sources. We have to also consider the negative side effects of those changes, with the same effort we looked at the side effects of fossil fuels that lead to more clean energy choices. Checking into the unforeseen impacts of green energy will lead to generating even cleaner energy in the future. If you were thinking of going for solar, wind or any other alternative energy source, this article is not meant to sway you at all, but to call for even greener energy in the future
Renewable energy which is usually made from natural sources such as sunlight, rain, tides, the wind, algae, plants, and geothermal heat. Unlike the fossil fuels which are finite resources that take years to build and diminishes according to use, green energy has an infinite source of production, making it a more reliable energy option.
With the increased focus on green energy by most countries, there is a rapid increase in the construction of renewable energy plants and although the intention is to reduce the harmful effects of carbon emissions on the planet, are these initiatives as friendly to the environment as they are perceived to be?
Although green energy comes with lots of benefits, its negative impact on the environment cannot be overlooked.
Hydro: This is the most common in the renewable energy market. Although Hydropower doesn’t cause any negative impact on air, building and operating a hydroelectric reservoir can cause different harmful effects on the environment. The dams constructed to harness hydroelectricity can have a negative influence on the flow of rivers which will alter ecosystems and negatively affect wildlife and people.
Another negative impact of this green system is the flooding of an area. When the water stored within the dam is released all at once, it can cause flood which can result in the destruction of food produce, forest, wildlife, and land.
Wind: The wind also has its fair share of the global renewable market with technologies like windmills being used to generate power. However, this sector has come under a lot of scrutinies for its negative impact on It can also be noted that offshore wind turbines can harm marine birds.
Solar: The sun provides a very reliable source of renewable energy. However, the adverse effect of the solar energy can be associated with loss of habitat, land use, the harmful materials used to manufacture solar panels and water use.
To build an effective solar power facility, there is a need for a large amount of land. This can lead to clearing and grading of land, which can cause erosion, soil compaction, and alteration of drainage channels.
Geothermal Plants: The cost of constructing geothermal plants are outrageous. Aside from this cost, geothermal plants have some other disadvantages. They contain poisonous gases which are released when holes are being drilled in the earth’s surface and when under extreme circumstances, these plants can cause earthquakes.
Bioenergy: Some of the resources used in bioenergy to generate power are crops, forest products, agricultural waste, and urban waste. The way these feedstocks are harvested can negatively impact land use along with global warming emissions. To get enough lumber to generate electricity, lots of trees has to be cut down and this can lead to loss of animal habitat.
Green energy is a very reliable source of infinite energy. However, the increased use of this energy can have negative effects on both the environment and the people living in it. Scientists, engineers, and the governments should implement solutions that keep negative impacts of renewable energy in check.