Environmental Impact of Solar and Wind energy- A Review
The global energy demand is growing substantially. Clean and secure energy supply is a must for our civilization's sustainable development. Solar and wind energy is growing fast and can contribute significantly to meet the goals set by many countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A deep and wide investigation of the environmental impact of solar and wind energy is important before any solar or wind plants' construction is made. In this study, the literature is reviewed to summarize the environmental impact of solar and wind energy systems in terms of the following factors; land use, water consumption, impact on biodiversity, visual and noise effects, health issues, and impact on micro climate. Although the benefits of solar and wind energy are obvious and great, negative perception of these technologies can inhibit their wide penetration in some regions. This review paper includes a critical and an inclusive analysis of solar and wind energy’s environmental impact and may serve as an important tool to conduct a proper environmental impact assessment. This critical analysis may serve also as a tool for developers, policy, and decision-when planning future solar and wind farms.