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bine. There have been cases reported about animals on farms getting affected by wind turbine noise. • The wind farms can have a significant visual impact and some people think they are very unsightly in a countryside or generally ugly. The sight of giant wind towers has drawn objections from neighbours about wind power leading to loss of scenery and beauty. • The cost of initial deployment can be quite high. This is especially true for wind farms which may have dozens of individual wind turbines. • The energy output of a wind turbine is quite low. An average 1.5 megawatt wind turbine produces the same amount of electrical energy as that consumed by about 330 homes. Therefore, dozens of turbines are needed to power the smallest of cities. • Vertical wind turbines can be hazardous to birds that inadvertently fly into the moving blades. • Wind farms need a lot of land. A large patch of unobstructed space is required to operate large wind turbines. The construction of roads to access the wind farms etc also takes up some land. • Plant for generating power from wind can be located only in places where suitable conditions of wind exist. Tidal/wave energy: • Tidal energy technology requires sizable tides for the power plant to be built. There are very limited locations available in the world capable of supporting Tidal Barrages. The limited number of locations is a big hurdle. • Tidal barrages require massive investment to construct a barrage or dam across a river estuary. Construction of barrage is very costly. Only a few estuaries are suitable. • Opposed by some environmental groups as having a negative impact on marine life. • May reduce tidal flow and impede flow of sewage out to sea. • Can also lead to increase in silt • Shipping could be disrupted • The cost and time (very long gestation time) overruns can be huge for tidal power plants. • Tidal power will be generated quite far away from the consumption of electricity and thus, its transportation will be quite cumbersome and expensive. • Severe weather like storms and typhoons can be quite devastating on the tidal power equipment especially those place on the sea floor. • Technology generating tidal or wave power is quite immature, costly, unproven and not commercially viable at present. Geothermal energy: • Geothermal energy can only be built in places which have the geological characteristics favorable to generation of geothermal power and best supplies of geothermal energy are limited to certain areas only. • Start-up costs are very high • Together with the heat, poisonous gasses could be released. • Geothermal and volcanic activity might calm down, leaving power stations redundant. • Dangerous elements found underground must be disposed of carefully. RENEWABLE ENERGY • The gestation time for permitting, financing, drilling etc. can easily take 5-7 years to develop a geothermal energy field. • Geothermal energy has the potential to generate hundreds of gigawatts of electricity through new techniques, however, the technology improvement has been slow with setbacks. • Financing is the biggest problem in developing projects particularly for small project developers in this industry. • Drilling for new geothermal energy fields, buying of geothermal companies in foreign geographies faces innumerable hurdles. This prevents the growth of geothermal companies in acquiring a critical scale. Conclusion It is easy to recognize the environmental advantages of utilizing the alternative and renewable forms of energy but we must also be aware of the disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage to all renewable energy sources is that conventional utilities aren’t fully capable of incorporating the new technologies to make energy. One disadvantage with renewable energy is that it is difficult to generate the quantities of electricity that are as large as those produced by traditional fossil fuel generators. It indicates that the best solution to our energy problems may be to have a balance of many different power sources. Further, there are still technological and cost barriers but as the price of generating energy conventionally continues to rise, and along with the improvements in technology and manufacturing, components needed to generate renewable energy will become cheaper �� 55 energetica INDIA · MAY | JUN16


energetica-india-57_asiapowerweek
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