Environmental Impacts of the Solar Energy Systems

Kaygusuz K.

ENERGY SOURCES PART A-RECOVERY UTILIZATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS, vol.31, no.15, pp.1376-1386, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Global energy consumption is expected to increase dramatically in the next decades, driven by rising standards of living and a growing population worldwide. The increased need for more energy will require enormous growth in energy generation capacity, more secure and diversified energy sources, and a successful strategy to tame green house gas emissions. Solar energy systems provide significant environmental benefits in comparison to the conventional energy sources, thus contributing, to the sustainable development of human activities. Sometimes however, their widescale deployment has to face potential negative environmental implications. These potential problems seem to be a strong barrier for a further dissemination of these systems in some consumers. We assess the potential environmental intrusions in order to ameliorate them with new technological innovations and good practices in the future power systems. The analysis provides the potential burdens to the environment, which include noise and visual intrusion, greenhouse gas emissions, water and soil pollution, energy consumption, labor accidents, impact on archaeological sites or on sensitive ecosystems, and negative and positive socio-economic effects.