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NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY

Jason Farrand

Introduction
Helping While Damaging Sources of renewable energy are meant to help reduce the negative impacts of energy creation on the environment. While things like wind turbines, solar panels, and hydroelectric dams cut down on the amount of pollution, they can often have negative effects on local ecosystems There are many different aspects of renewable energy that you do no hear on various documentaries, presentations, and news articles. The different ways of obtaining renewable energy have different effects on the environment that they are placed in. One fairly common example is that dams that are used to acquire hydroelectric power destroy river ecosystems by obstructing the flow and making idle lakes while the water slowly flows through the turbines in the dam. Many species of fish that have developed instinctual behavior that is dependant on a rivers current cannot carry out functions that are necessary to ensure the survival of the species. With the renewable energy sources becoming more and more widespread, the importance to find ways of reducing the negative effects of renewable energy sources is growing more and more pertinent.

What is Bad About It?

Each year, approximately 140,000-328,000 birds are killed each year by wind turbines. Nearly 40 million 80 million people have been displaced by dams worldwide. Lakes that are created by dams are often breeding grounds for mosquitoes which cause the spread of disease Open-looped geothermal plants are prone to release toxic gases into the atmosphere such as hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, ammonia, methane, and boron.

What is Bad About It?

Sulfur dioxide that is released from geothermal plants can form small particles which can cause lung and heart disease, and can cause acid rain which kills crops and forests. Burning biomass as a source of energy impacts the air quality by releasing gases such as nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter into the atmosphere. Some hydrokinetic technologies are being placed in ecologically- sensitive areas that could negatively impact animal and plant life in that area.

On the Other Hand

If these sources of energy have emissions, they are much less than that of energy that is produced by fossil fuels. Sources of renewable energy are more readily available than fossil fuels which will one day become extremely scarce. Renewable energy is much more new than energy that is generated by fossil fuels and has much more potential to grow compared to that of energy sources like coal.

Union of Concerned Scientists

This is an organization that puts heavy research into uncovering and solving important problems that concern the planet. Topics that are researched by this organization range from finding sustainable sources of power to reducing the threat of war. This source provides a majority of the type of information that I need to create my paper Many members of this group are professionals that possess high level degrees that relate to topics that are discussed. Articles expertly address issues in a non biased manner by giving factual information about all aspects of topics on the website.

Example: When on the topic of renewable energy, benefits are presented in addition to the negative consequences.

Other legitimate sources were used to build credibility of the articles that were being written.

Bright Hub Engineering

This is a website that is managed by professional engineers that gives useful information about various topics concerning engineering from power to structural engineering. This source provides information about actual devices that are used in the production of energy from various renewable energy sources. Articles are updated by licensed engineers who are experts in the topic.

Reflection on Sources
Relevance Each source provides relevant information about my topic.

Various types of renewable energy were discussed Specific details about negative effects as well as positive effects were addressed Provided sources to show legitimacy

Sources were presented in a non-biased manner

The audience that these sources appeal to is professional These websites that I have gone into detail about their topics by using jargon that is specific to the focus of the articles.

Speaks to engineers by using measurements that are common in physics and mathematics Uses specific chemical names and scientific terms that may require investigation to fully comprehend

Ideas for Further Research

Suggest possible ways to make improvements

Look into ways to make improvements rather than simply pointing out flaws in the renewable energy sources

Research other possible sources of energy that would not com with nearly as many negative consequences Questions How much is already being studied to improve these sources further? Can average people do anything to aid in dampening the negative consequences of existing renewable energy sources? How long could it take to make improvements?

Works Cited

Eveleth, Rose. "How Many Birds Do Wind Turbines Really Kill?" Smithsonian. N.p., 13 Dec. 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2014. "Environmental Impacts of Renewable Energy Technologies." Union of Concerned Scientists. N.p., 05 Mar. 2013. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. Sanguri, Mohit. "What Are the Negative Effects of Building Large Hydroelectric Dams?" Brighthub Engineering. Ed. Lamar Stonecypher. N.p., 5 Apr. 2013. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.