Negative consequences of renewable technology

November 5, 2009

A major advantage of renewable energy is that it can be regenerated, therefore it is sutainable and will never run out. More importantly, renewable energy is environment friendly and produces little or no waste products that may pollute or have harmful effects on the environment.

Some countries using renewable energy as an alternative source of energy are also showing increased economic benefits, especially in various regional areas. Most of these projects are location far away from metropolitan cities. They have been able to increase the use of local services as well as increase tourism.

One of the general disadvantages of using renewable energy is that it is difficult to generate huge quantities of electricity similar to that using conventional fossil fuel (as it case of PV). Another problem is with the reliability of its energy supply. Since it is naturally generated, renewable energy are dependent on the weather conditions at the time and in the region of use.

It also has another drawback. It is relatively more expensive to acquire and set up the equipments necessary for the generating electricity. However,  initial cost is generally offset by the long term benefit.

Negative consequences of renewable technology

To combat global warming and the other problems associated with fossil fuels, the all nations must switch to renewable energy sources like sunlight, wind, and biomass. However, all renewable energy technologies are not appropriate to all applications or locations. As with conventional energy production, there are environmental issues to be considered. Some of the key environmental impacts associated with renewable technologies especially hydropower is given below.

The development of hydropower has become increasingly problematic in the United States and other developed nations. And small-scale hydro development has not met expectations either.

Environmental regulations affect existing projects as well as new ones. For example, a series of large facilities on the Columbia River in Washington will probably be forced to reduce their peak output by 1,000 MW to save an endangered species of salmon. Salmon numbers have declined rapidly because the young are forced to make a long and arduous trip downstream through several power plants, risking death from turbine blades at each stage. To ease this trip, hydropower plants may be required to divert water around their turbines at those times of the year when the fish attempt the trip. And in New England and the Northwest, there is a growing popular movement to dismantle small hydropower plants in an attempt to restore native trout and salmon populations.

That environmental concerns would constrain hydropower development in Nepal is perhaps ironic, since these plants produce no air pollution or greenhouse gases. Yet, as the salmon example makes clear, they affect the environment. The impact of very large dams is so great that there is almost no chance that any more will be built in the United States, although large projects continue to be build in many developing countries. The reservoirs created by such projects frequently inundate/submerge large areas of forest, farmland, wildlife habitats, scenic areas, and even towns. In addition, the dams can cause radical changes in river ecosystems both upstream and downstream.

Small hydropower plants using reservoirs can cause similar types of damage, but on a smaller scale. Some of the impacts on fish can be mitigated by installing “ladders” or other devices to allow fish to migrate over dams, and by maintaining minimum river-flow rates; screens can also be installed to keep fish away from turbine blades. In one case, flashing underwater lights placed in the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania direct night-migrating American shad around turbines at a hydroelectric station. As environmental regulations have become more stringent, developing cost-effective mitigation measures such as these is essential.

Despite these efforts, however, hydropower is almost certainly approaching the limit of its potential in the United States. Although existing hydro facilities can be upgraded with more efficient turbines, other plants can be refurbished, and some new small plants can be added, the total capacity and annual generation from hydro will probably not increase by more than 10 to 20 percent and may decline over the long term because of increased demand on water resources for agriculture and drinking water, declining rainfall (perhaps caused by global warming), and efforts to protect or restore endangered fish and wildlife.

In most of the developed countries like US , hydropower may decline over the long term because of increased demand on water resources for agriculture and drinking water, declining rainfall (perhaps caused by global warming), and efforts to protect or restore endangered fish and wildlife.


5 Responses to “Negative consequences of renewable technology”

  1. sweet post i am driving a car powered on water fuel to drive its good against global warming and it saves me loads of money too you check it out here: link

  2. Leonel Lesko Says:

    Happy to have found out about this site really found it useful and will come back to explore when I am not so busy.

  3. AlexMary O.O. Says:

    a question: if 93 billion liters of biofuels in 2009 displaced the equivalent of an estimated 68 billion liters of gasoline, i.e. 1.34l of biofuel for 1l of gasoline, it means it is expensive to produce biofuel, hence, it’ll be expensive for consumers, right?

    • Olle Says:

      of course saving the world will be expensive. you will have to let up some of your precious gold for future generations quality of life. live simple so other can simply live.

  4. I am AM Says:

    thanks for this! I’m doing a group project in school and I have to argue for non-renewable energy and against renewable energy… of course I willing take the hardest part in the group XP This will be really helpful.

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