Renewable Energy Sources and their Impact on Birds

Giant photovoltaic array by USAF

A solar photovoltaic array generates power for the Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Photo by USAF.


While most renewable energy sources do not produce pollution directly, the materials, industrial processes, and construction equipment used to create them may generate waste and pollution. In addition, some renewable energy systems actually create environmental problems - such as older wind turbines and their significant impact on birds.


More generally, large-scale production from renewable energy sources is sometimes viewed as too land-intensive to be practical. Yet harnessing renewable energy requires less land and water than does our current energy system. Solar power plants that concentrate sunlight in desert areas require 2,540 acres per billion kWh, which is less land than is required by a comparable coal or hydropower plant.

In addition, use of these renewable energy resources reduces the need for harvesting non-renewable energy sources, such as vast strip-mined areas and slag-mountains for coal, and hundreds of square miles being strip-mined for oil sands.


Some renewable energy sources are discussed in more detail on the following pages:


Nuclear Power Hydroelectric Power Solar Energy
Nuclear plant_stock.xchng Dam_stock.xchng Solar_stock.xchng


Wind Energy


Wave/Water Energy


Biomass and Biofuels

wind-turbines_stock.xchng Waves_stock.xchng Biofuel_stock.xchng
Photos above: stock.xchng