Adoption of renewable sources of energy is one of the hottest topics these days, with several governments promoting strategies that could compel people, power companies, and policy-makers shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy. While this shift seems like the most important step required to bring down the level of pollution and help with global warming, scientists are highlighting some of the negative ecological impacts of the rapid rise in adoption of green energy.
Dr. Luke Gibson, Asst Prof, the School of Biological Sciences, University of Hong Kong, argues that the increased global proliferation of wind turbines, solar panels, and hydroelectric dams could also pose some dangers. For instance, hydropower projects have degraded some of the biologically richest habitats on the earth, added Prof. William Laurance from James Cook University, Australia.
Prof. Laurance added that hydro projects are especially posing a serious disaster to tropical rainforests. While solar panels and wind turbines can also lead to environmental damage, but the damage is of a scale much lower than what hydropower leads to. Overall, renewable energy holds over 25% of the world’s total electricity capacity, with China being the leader with a capacity of over 26% solar, 28% of hydro, and 35% of wind power.
Considering the risks that hydropower can pose, it is essential to put in place efforts to manage the environmental impacts that the future renewable energy industry can lead to. For starters, it is essential that the green energy developments in the near future and new projects aren’t posing harm to sensitive habitats and wildlife.