Although renewable energy may save the world from fossil fuel emissions, the construction of infrastructure supporting these renewables may interfere with environmental conservation.
The transition to renewables comes with an underrated challenge of destroying the landscape of an area. The development of these infrastructure threatens biodiversity since most of the organisms habiting an area are forcefully evicted to another site.
Countries that participated in the Paris Agreement on climate change are keen on downsizing the greenhouse gas emissions by substituting coal and gas power plants with renewables. Nevertheless, the creation of facilities supporting renewables must undergo a scrutinizing process to minimize the challenge of damaging irreplaceable environmental uniqueness.
Research by Global Change Biology revealed that the sites where most of the upcoming renewable energy facilities will be erected have biodiverse features that are irreplaceable. Therefore, the developers have to find other areas where these structures’ installation will not interfere with the ecosystem. José Rehbein led the research recommending a change of plans for most of the renewable energy sites.
Rehbein and his team support the shift to renewables to cauterize the climatic changes that accrue due to fossil fuels’ consumption. These researchers urge lawmakers and policy drafters to ensure that the erection of renewable energy infrastructure does not devalue the ecosystem.
Rehbein and his colleagues identified hydropower and wind energy plants in areas considered to be under the environmental conservation plan. The team discovered that the wind turbines caused birds and bats’ deaths, which would depopulate the ecosystem catastrophically. The group recommended a proper assessment of the areas where these turbines are installed to minimize particular bird species’ wiping.
All renewable energy farms require vegetative clearance to install the components to enable the production of electricity. Rehbein argues that the desire to transition to clean energy and minimize greenhouse gas emissions affects the proper analysis of grounds to host the infrastructure.
Rehbein explained that renewable energy projects are business-oriented, with energy companies seeking grounds where they will generate more power at reasonable prices. This strategy disregards the essence of environmental conservation and invades the land with a biodiverse ecosystem in the pretext of transitioning to green energy.
Experts stated that renewable energy developers act under the government’s authority, making it difficult to stop their operations even when they result in deforestation. Rehbein advises environmental activists to call for discussions with lawmakers to project the changes that should be made on policies to advocate for environmental protection.
To sum up, hydropower plants must also have limits. Since these plants depend on the water, they affect plants and animals surviving because of this water. For instance, dams for generating hydroelectric power deny the planta downstream water for growth. These dams also suffocate the marine life inhabiting the waters.