Positive and negative impacts on society
The following are the main benefits and detriments of renewable energy:
- They are renewable, and therefore are very sustainable.
- Renewable energy facilities require less maintenance than regular generators, lowering costs of repair.
- They produce little or no chemical pollutants. They will keep our air and waters less polluted and breathing problems, heart attacks and cancer, linked to the use of fossil fuels, will go down.
- Most renewable energy projects are located away from city centers, resulting in an increase in growth capacity inside the city.
- While wind turbine plants take up more space because they need to space out the turbines, on the empty land there are farms where they can keep livestock, roads and trails. So this land is used to make energy and serve other important uses.
- The National Wind Coordination Committee did a study to show that the wind turbines have a low impact on the bats and birds that populate the skies around the plants.
- The land that wind turbines are on can also be used for other purposes as well. Farmers keep livestock on turbine plants. There can also be buildings and roads because there is so much extra space for other things. So not all the land is wasted.
- To use wind and solar energy there is no water involved so that saves the water.
- It is more difficult for a renewable energy source plant to produce the same amount of electricity as regular power plants.
- The amount of electricity it is able to produce, is very unpredictable, and that makes it unreliable because it relies on weather with is very unpredictable.
- Wind power takes up more space if it is on flat ground because they need to be space out 5 to 10 rotor blade diameters apart. A rotor blade diameter is the diameter of the blades on the rotor. This means that the wind turbine plants are very big because they need all this space for the turbines to be spread apart.
- For people living around wind turbine plants they have complained about the sound and the vibrations of the wind turbines.
- Geothermal and biomass do let out gas emissions but they are not nearly as high as fossil fuels.
- Using hydroelectric renewable energy sources can impact the ecosystem of the river, or body of water that the dam is built on. The fish might not be able to get to the area with all the algae and the fact that this water is going through a dam could impact the wildlife around the dam.