Renewable energy refers to any energy that is created using a natural source and is sustainable. Some common forms of renewable energy include solar, hydroelectric (hydro), wind and geothermal. Much research is being invested into these sources of power to make them more cost effective and reliable. Renewable energy is sustainable and better for the environment making it a growing area of industry. Even though there are many benefits of renewable energy three are also some disadvantages to this form of energy. This article will focus on some of these disadvantages.
Disadvantages of renewable energy
The biggest disadvantage that impacts the use of renewable energy is the higher cost. In general, renewable energy sources are much more costly to establish than their fossil fuel counterparts. The equipment required to set up a renewable energy plant can be very expensive.
Another distinct disadvantage is the fact that renewable plants have to be built in certain environments. Renewable energy such as tidal and hydro plants require rivers and beaches. Wind powered plants must be built in a place where they will capture a lot of wind and solar panels need a lot of sun to generate electricity. This severely limits the type of renewable energy sources that can be used in certain cases.
Most renewable energy sources rely on weather conditions to create energy. This is much more environmentally friendly than burning fossil fuels, but it is also a huge disadvantage. Solar powered plants will not produce energy if there is no sun, wind powered plants will not produce energy if there is no wind and hydroelectric plants cannot produce energy if there is no flowing water. This makes renewable energy sources unreliable. It also makes it difficult to produce the quantity and quality of energy needed to power large cities and towns.
Despite the fact that most renewable energy sources are more environmentally friendly they may still have a negative impact on the environment. For example, hydroelectricity can cause a dramatic change in silting patterns of a river because a dam must be created. This impacts the development of wildlife and flora along the river. Wind turbines have been shown to affect the wind currents in areas where they are used. This may causes changes to weather patterns and rainfall. Some evidence also shows that geothermal drilling and damming of rivers can make areas more susceptible to earthquakes.