Environmental Impact Of Solar Energy –
Solar Energy is the energy that is obtained from the sun’s heat. Sun’s heat will be used to generate the energy type which is used for many household and industrial purposes. The environmental impacts of solar energy when used for power generation are as follows –
1. Man extracts solar energy from the sun, process it and transform it into immediate and intermediate use which will definitely effect the environment and thus causes pollution directly or indirectly.
2. Solar energy is clean, cheap and abundantly available renewable source of energy.
3. Most used power plants are central receiver steam power plants. Solar energy is not worth due to large area covered by heliostats, high cost intermittent supply, low power density and much more.
4. Solar power generation requires large collection field covering several kilometers square area. A very complex and costly sun tracking system must be used for large heliostats consisting of long piping system and large thermal storage system. The capital cost per KW – hr produced is also very high.
5. Solar Energy is pollution less and free but the capital investment of solar energy power plants is very high.
6. In area with favorable sunlight during the most of the months, solar power plants are economically viable.
7. Ivanpah Solar Power Facility is the largest power plant in the world which is located in California, United States of America. Even it is forced to close down which produces at a rate of 35 dollars per Mega Watt Hour.
8. The area occupied by any solar power plants will be very high. The heliostats must be placed at a certain distance so that the solar energy is concentrated at a particular point.
9. The energy obtained from the solar energy is also not utilized completely. Most of the heat will be wasted while conversion of solar energy to useful energy.
10. Sun’s heat is not always reliable. In times of emergency, it is ignorant to rely completely on the solar power plant even though a lot of money is invested on the solar power plant.
These are the environmental impacts of solar energy.