1.4 Environmental Impact of Utility Scale Solar Power
Utility-scale solar power systems are on the rise worldwide - the tendency being fostered by advances in technology, new energy policies, and markets. Because of this growth, there has been an increased interest among stakeholders to understand the environmental impact of such systems. In spite of the often idealistic public perception of solar technology as "green" panacea, an objective examination reveals both positive and negative impacts. Careful impact assessment of developing technologies is important in order to steer towards the optimal solutions that would take into account economic, environmental, and social sides of the trend.
Please read the following review article, which nicely covers the multiple effects of utility solar power.
Journal review article: Hernandez, R.R. et al., Environmental Impacts of Utility-Scale Solar Energy, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 29, 766 (2014).
This article will be the background of the Lesson 1 forum discussion, and you will get a few questions on this material in the reading quiz (see the Summary and Activities page of this lesson for more details).