Wind: the environmental impacts associated with the production of wind energy are, in general, small and localized, the main ones being noise, visual intrusion and changes in ecosystems, in particular, in the avifauna.
Water: the environmental impacts of run-of-river uses (with no storage capacity for affluent flows) are of a lower magnitude than large hydroelectric plants (with reservoir). In both types of use, there may or may not be a diversion of the river flow to be turbinated, constituting an important landscape intrusion. Large hydroelectric plants generate significant environmental impacts, although localized, can cause significant disturbances in ecological systems upstream and downstream.
Renewable cogeneration: this type of simultaneous production of electrical and thermal energy more efficiently (use of a renewable fuel source) when compared to the energy production system with conventional cogeneration, results in a significant decrease in the associated environmental impacts, mainly in reducing pollutant gas emissions, in particular CO2, which contributes the most to the greenhouse effect.
Geothermal: the environmental impacts of geothermal energy are dependent on the location of the installation and the technology used. However, the main impacts are associated with solid waste, thermal or chemical pollution of surface / groundwater, noise, increased seismicity. These impacts are minimal when compared to the impacts of conventional technologies for the production of thermoelectric energy.
Other renewable: includes the production of electric energy based on renewable energy sources such as:
• Solar: photovoltaic systems generate few environmental impacts, allowing the use of a renewable resource to produce electricity without generating atmospheric emissions. However, there are some associated negative impacts, the visual ones, mainly resulting from the occupation of relatively extensive areas, and the process and materials involved in the production of photovoltaic cells and their dismantling.
• Biomass: The use of uncultivated vegetation can produce significant impacts, as the exploration is carried out. In many cases, there is a total destruction of vegetation, with significant ecological impacts on the terrestrial ecosystem.
• Biogas: since incineration is a technology whose main objective is the treatment of waste, its energy recovery can be seen as a “by-product” (use of biogas in landfills). Thus, environmental impacts must not be exclusively related to the production of electricity, but must also be attributed to the waste treatment activity.
• Waves and tidal waves: this form of electric energy production has visual environmental impacts and changes in the environment, particularly in the landscape and habitats, due to the location of offshore and onshore plants, changes in coastal erosion processes and marine ecosystems.
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