How do renewable energy sources pollute the environment?

Nizhnevartovsk. The introduction of renewable energy sources (RES) is gaining popularity even in those countries that typically possess large reserves of oil and gas. The main reason is their environmental friendliness. However, the practice of use and research results by some scientific communities already indicate that “green” energy is not as safe for the environment as we think.

Solar and wind energy

Irish and American scientists, including CERES researchers, have discovered how solar and wind power plants cause local climate change.

In their opinion, wind farms significantly increase the temperature of the soil on which they are installed, which leads to an increase in the release of carbon dioxide by soil microbes.

In an article published in the scientific journal Energies, the researchers noted that “wind energy partially reduces human ‘carbon emissions’, but at the same time increases ‘carbon emissions’ from natural sources.

It is noteworthy that not only experts from Ireland and America came to such conclusions. Two decades ago, many environmentalists began calling wind turbines “meat grinders in the air.” They got this name due to the fact that many birds are torn apart by huge and rapidly rotating turbines. So, on the territory of a wind farm in Nevada, more than 560 bats have recently been killed, and this is a significantly large number for an area of ​​u200bu200b30 square meters. how much.

Solar power plants are no less harmful to wildlife. Standard plates occupy a fairly large area of ​​u200bu200bthe floor, which forms a zone with a fairly high temperature. Animals, falling into the ocean, die. In addition, the light reflected from the mirrors attracts insects, which in turn serve as good bait for birds. As a result, those and others die from extreme heat.

“Renewable energy sources are deadly. Until recently, it was believed that they do not cause environmental harm. However, with the number of animal deaths on the rise, the public is beginning to protest the deadly consequences of “green” energy sources, – said H. Sterling Burnett, Senior Fellow at the Foundation US Public Policy and Environment, Academic Adviser on Energy and Natural Resources.

Aside from the increased death toll among birds, windmills are difficult to classify as “green” energy due to the materials used in their construction. The rotating turbine itself is made of aluminum. This material uses toxic acids and forms harmful volatile compounds during production. At the same time, its production involves huge energy costs. “Green” energy sources do not yet provide the required capacity, and it is unlikely that they will be able to do so in the near future. Solar panels use carbon deposited on a substrate.

In addition, solar and wind energy parks, intended to improve the world’s climate, require 100 times more land surface area than the same electricity generated from fossil fuels. These vast tracts of land, endowed with “green” energy, lead to the destruction of biodiversity.

In their analysis, the scientists concluded that “the impact of bioenergy on biodiversity is worse: the increase in the use of crops, such as palm oil for biofuel production, has contributed to the destruction of rainforests and other natural environments.”

Also of note are the financial expenditures for developing a new type of renewable energy. According to experts for the period 2011-2018. $2.0 trillion was spent on solar and wind energy. In 2018, green energy generated 3% of global energy consumption, while oil, coal and gas account for 85%. According to the lead author of the analysis, Koilin Ohaiseadha, it took 8 years to increase the share of solar and wind energy generated from 0.5% to 3%.

“The world has spent $2 trillion on this. What will it cost to increase its share to 100%? And how long will it take?”

Hydroelectric power stations – the path to flood

Renewable energy is another type of “green” energy that has been criticized by scientists. According to researchers from Australia and China, the total area of ​​land flooded as a result of the operation of hydropower plants amounted to 340,000 square meters. how much.

Several hydroelectric power stations have also caused the deaths of migratory salmon. Despite the best efforts of the designers, the problem has not been solved, and now some dams are being dismantled to save the world’s ecosystem.

Electric cars: the pros and cons

Many also refer to “green” energy and electric transmission methods. According to a study by Christoph Buchal of the University of Cologne, electric vehicles do not reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but rather produce significantly higher carbon dioxide emissions than diesel vehicles. The scientist attributes this to the fact that the car uses a large amount of energy to extract and process lithium, cobalt and manganese, which are among the most important raw materials for the production of batteries.

So, for example, the well-known Tesla Model 3 car battery pollutes up to 15 tons of carbon dioxide during its service life (about 10 years). Note that Tesla President Elon Musk is known to be the most active lobbyist for the use of alternative energy sources. For example, Tesla, which he leads, signed a contract in 2017 to build a 100-megawatt battery system in Australia. According to him, the active development of renewable energy sources can become a guarantee for the development of civilization.

Each battery pack has a life of about ten years and a total mileage of 94,000 miles, which means 73 to 98 grams of CO2 per kilometer. Add to that the CO2 emissions from power plants that power such vehicles, and Tesla’s actual emissions can range from 156 to 180 grams of CO2 per kilometer,” said Christophe Buchal.

It turns out that at the time of leaving the assembly line, the electric car had already polluted the environment much more than conventional cars?


A passenger car emits carbon dioxide in an amount of 127.9 g / km. According to the new standards, the indicator should be reduced to 95 g / km.


It is noteworthy that China was the first country in the world to directly test that electric cars are not environmentally friendly, as it is said. The development of electric transport did not help the country get rid of environmental problems. Smog continues to cover major cities, although the share of electric vehicles in the country’s major cities is very high. Chinese experts, analyzing this problem, made calculations and came to certain conclusions. The fact is that 85% of electricity in China is produced in thermal power plants that use mainly coal. With the transition to electric vehicles, the consumption of electricity generated in plants that pollute the air is only increasing.

Speaking about the fact that representatives of “green” energy provide us with a unique opportunity to improve the global environment, one should remain cautious. Society has yet to figure out whether renewables are really less destructive than fossil fuels.


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