After the winter storm in Texas last month that caused millions of Texan’s to be out of power, is green energy smart for our future? Today we are going to discuss the dangers of a nation going free of fossil fuels based on 3 forms of “green” energy.
Wind is one of the cleanest and most sustainable ways to generate electricity as it produces no toxic pollution or emissions but they have a negative side to them. Outside of the Western United States you do not see many wind turbines farms. The wind turbines can be extremely harmful to wildlife. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that between 140,000 and 500,000 bird deaths occur at wind farms each year. The amount of space each farm requires hurts the animals and environment around them. On top of killing wildlife, wind turbines can not be recycled and have to be buried in the ground where it will take hundreds of years to break down. Killing wildlife and causing pollution in our ground is not a smart way to care for our Earth’s future.
Like wind power, the sun provides a tremendous resource for generating clean and sustainable electricity.
The environmental impacts associated with solar power can include land use and habitat loss, water use, and the use of hazardous materials in manufacturing, though the types of impacts vary greatly depending on the scale of the system and the technology used—photovoltaic (PV) solar cells or concentrating solar thermal plants (CSP).
Hydroelectric power includes both massive hydroelectric dams and small run-of-the-river plants. Large-scale hydroelectric dams continue to be built in many parts of the world (including China and Brazil), but it is unlikely that new facilities will be added to the existing US fleet in the future.
Instead, the future of hydroelectric power in the United States will likely involve increased capacity at current dams and new run-of-the-river projects. There are environmental impacts at both types of plants. The major problem with hydroelectric power is flooding large areas of land which causes wildlife habitats to be destroyed causing the animals to find new homes.