1st Edition

Environmental Impacts of Renewable Energy

ISBN 9781482249460
Published December 2, 2014 by CRC Press
478 Pages 69 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

Renewable Energy Has a Good Side and a Bad Side… Evaluate Both

All energy sources affect the environment in which we live. While fossil fuels may essentially do more harm, renewable energy sources can also pose a threat to the environment. Allowing for the various renewable energy sources: solar, wind, hydro, biomass, and geothermal, Environmental Impacts of Renewable Energy examines the environmental effects of all available renewable or alternative sources, as they increasingly play a large part in our energy supply, and provides a counterargument about the benefits of renewable energy. This book discusses both the merits and the physical, mechanical, electrical, and environmental limitations of renewable sources of energy. It discusses the pros and cons of renewable energy, addresses environmental issues and concerns, and determines ways to avoid or minimize these impacts.

This text contains nine chapters reviewing in depth:

  • Renewable energy impact on the environment
  • Major renewable energy types
  • Environmental health, safety, and ecological impacts
  • Impact on tribal sacrosanct areas

Environmental Impacts of Renewable Energy covers the adverse effects of major renewable energy sources. Environmental engineers working with renewable energy, environmental consultants/managers working with municipalities regarding environmental impact and land use, and undergraduate students taking related courses in environmental college programs can greatly benefit from this text.

Table of Contents

Setting the Stage: The 411 on Energy Basics


Types of Energy

Nonrenewable Energy

Renewable Energy

Energy Use in the United States

Measuring Energy

Heat Engines

Renewable Energy: The Terrorism Factor

Thought-Provoking Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Wind Power: Where Eagles Don’t Dare


Wind Power Basics

Wind Energy

Wind Power

Turbine Components

Environmental Impacts of Wind Turbines

Wind Energy Construction Impacts

Wind Energy Operations Impacts

Impacts on Wildlife

Impacts on Human Health

Environmental Impacts of Power Transmission Lines

Energy Transmission Construction Impacts

Energy Transmission Operations Impacts

Wind Turbine Operations and Maintenance Personnel Safety


Wind Power: The Bottom Line

Thought-Provoking Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Solar Energy

Icarus Revisited at Ivanpah

Energy from the Sun

Environmental Impacts of Solar Energy

Ecological Impacts

Solar Energy Job Hazards

Thought-Provoking Questions

References and Recommended Reading


The Rachel River

Hydropower: Historical Perspective

Hydropower Basic Concepts

Advanced Hydropower Technology

Ecological Impacts of Hydropower

Biological Impacts of Flow Fluctuations

Low Water Levels and Evaporation of Reservoirs

Impacts on Human Health and Safety

Hydropower: The Bottom Line

Thought-Provoking Questions

References and Recommended Reading




Plant Basics


Biomass for Biopower

Biomass for Bioproducts


Biogas (Methane CH)

Impacts of Biomass Construction, Production, and Operation

Human Health and Safety

Fatalities and Incidents

Biofuels: The Bottom Line

Thought-Provoking Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Geothermal Energy


Geothermal Energy: The Basics

Energy Conversion

Geothermal Power Plant Technologies

Enhanced Geothermal Systems

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Environmental Impacts of Geothermal Power Development

Human Health and Safety

Geothermal Energy: The Bottom Line

Thought-Provoking Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy


Oceans and Their Margins

Ocean Floor

Ocean Tides, Currents, and Waves

Coastal Erosion, Transportation, and Deposition

Wave Energy

Wave Energy Conversion Technology

Tidal Energy

Tidal Energy Technologies

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

Ocean Energy Conversion Process

Potential Environmental (General) Impacts

Toxic Effects of Chemicals

Potential Environmental-Specific Impacts

Hydrokinetic Energy Facility Construction Impacts

Hydrokinetic Energy Facility Operations and Maintenance


Thought-Provoking Questions

References and Recommended Reading

Fuel Cells

Introduction to Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Hydrogen Storage

How a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Works

Environmental Impacts of Fuel Cells

Properties of Hydrogen

Thought-Provoking Question

References and Recommended Reading

Carbon Capture and Sequestration

Introduction to Carbon Capture and Sequestration

Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration

Geologic Carbon Sequestration

Potential Impacts of Terrestrial Sequestration

Potential Impacts of Geologic Sequestration

Human Health and Safety

Thought-Provoking Questions

References and Recommended Reading




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Frank R. Spellman, PhD, is a retired assistant professor of environmental health at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia. The author of more than 90 books covering topics ranging from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to all areas of environmental science and occupational health, he has been cited in more than 450 publications, and is a co-author to well-recognized experts in various scientific fields. For example, he is a contributing author of The Engineering Handbook, 2nd ed. Spellman holds a BA in public administration, a BS in business management, an MBA, and both an MS and a PhD in environmental engineering.


"… details the theoretical and practical aspects of the development and use of renewable energy… Spellman offers anecdotal sidelights and highlights hazards and safety measures; e.g., readers are warned that solar panels should never be carried by hand while climbing a ladder. … this book will serve as a resource for engineers, scientists, and indeed anyone interested in environmental studies."
—Choice, September 2015

"This book encompasses all aspects of renewable energy. …Topics covered use real life examples, and start out with a historical perspective. …With renewable energy becoming so important due to rising energy costs, this book provides a go to resource for information for both safety professionals and management."
—Jennifer See, HRSD Safety Manager

Although geothermal energy has a proven history, environmental disruption remains a factor, and smaller and more versatile sources such as fuel cells may become widespread. Including basic definitions, tables, and diagrams, this book will serve as a resource for engineers, scientists, and indeed anyone interested in environmental studies.Summing Up: Recommended. All readers.
—R. M. Ferguson, emeritus, Eastern Connecticut State University, CHOICE

"This book makes for very interesting reading and is well worth ownership."
Energy Sources Part A, May 2016