renewable energies and biodiversity

 

Hydropower, solar energy, terrestrial wind energy, bioenergy, ocean energy, geothermal energy , these different renewable energy sources are often considered to be environmentally friendly, although they have both positive and negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems . environmental risks and ecological shortages can be reduced through the green economy, defined as an economic system that leads to improve human well-being and social equity. Conserving biodiversity and maintaining ecosystem services are essential pillars of efforts to transition to  a green economy.

A review was written by the foundation for Biodiversity Research, which brought together the negative factors of renewable energy on biodiversity.
The negative effects of renewable energy sectors on biodiversity are :

 

Hydraulic energy

  • The impoundment of dams causes degradation of ecosystems and natural reserves and also fragmentation and loss of habitats .
  • A disruption of the migration routes of some fish.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from reservoirs that contribute to anthropogenic climate change.

Solar energy

  • Collision of birds with installations
  • Burns caused to birds exposed to the intense solar flu that could cause death in some cases
  • Increasing use of water especially in deserts
  • Habitats loss or fragmentation is the best and most proven effect
  • Ecological trap due to cumulative attractors mechanism
  • Attraction and disorientation of insects and birds due to intense light

Terrestrial wind energy

  • One of the most well documented and studied impacts is the disruption of migratory routes of some bird species.
  • Collision of birds and bats with wind turbines,as with birds, the risks are not only for local species but also for migratory species too
  • Sudden reductions in air pressure near the blades cause internal injuries in bats

Bioenergy :

  • Competition  with native vegetation of certain species used as raw materials (e.g. eucalyptus, miscanthus)
  • The use of fertilizers and pesticides causes  soil and water pollution
  • Changes in local micro-climates due to changes in albedo and evapotranspiration.

Ocean energy

  • Electromagnetic pollution associated with under water and chemical cables from toxic lubricants and paints
  • Increased turbidity in the water column due to seabed disturbances, changes in salinity, more oxygenated water flow into tidal structures.
  • Disruption of movement and feeding of local and migratory species
  • Species mortality in tidal structures, collision of birds with marine turbines and aquatic species with wave energy devices
  • Changes in the composition of benthic fish communities due to habitat loss
  • Tropical fish mortality due to thermal shocks generated by some facilities.

Geothermal energy :

  • Habitat loss during the conversion of natural areas to geothermal installations
  • Habitat change during site deforestation, road construction, well drilling and seismic surveys that affect the breeding, foraging and migration processes of some species
  • Emissions of toxic pollutants such as H2S, arsenic and boric acid that can defoliate plants  incorporated by organisms
  • Noise and heat pollution from geothermal installations.

 

 

 

Sources :

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/310840826_Renewable_energy_and_biodiversity_Implications_for_transitioning_to_a_Green_Economy

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1364032116304622

https://news.mongabay.com/2019/06/shift-to-renewable-energy-could-have-biodiversity-cost-researchers-caution/

 

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