1st Edition

Environmental Impacts of Renewable Energy

By Frank R. Spellman Copyright 2015
    478 Pages 69 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    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.

    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





    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