Economic, Environmental, Health and Social Impacts of Utility Scale Solar Energy Generation: A Review

  • S. Kibaara
  • D.K. Murage
  • M.J. Saulo

Abstract

In the beginning the world utilized energy fromĀ  conventional sources such as oil, coal, and the natural gas. These sources of energy posed a lot of negative impacts to the environment and human beings at large. These sources has limited reserves coupled with their uneven geographical distribution. Therefore their continuous usage leads to depletion. Nuclear energy generation has less GHG emissions compared to oil and gas. Nuclear energy has reduced the emission of CO2 by approximately 2.5 billion tonnes perĀ  year. The non-renewable energy sources pose great danger to the environment because of their emissions which include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, heavy metals such as mercury together with the radioactive nuclides such as uranium and thorium. These pollutants emissions has impacts on the human health and the biodiversity which includes damage to nervous system, lungs, breathing problems bronchitis, sperm cells impairment, cardiovascular and kidney effects among others. Impacts to biodiversity includes damage to crops and forests, water contamination, marine life etc. Environmental externalities/impacts are defined as benefits or costs generated as a by-product of an economic activity, that do not accrue to the parties involved in the activity. They are the benefits or costs that usually manifest themselves through changes in the physical-biological environments. In electricity pricing externalities refers to the costs associated with the fuel cycle that are not incorporated in the electric utility cost structure. The major contribution of this research work is to bring to realization the environmental, social and the health impacts of utility solar energy technologies and how these impacts can be monetized. This paper further reviews methods that has been used in the quantification of these impacts.
Published
Oct 7, 2019
How to Cite
KIBAARA, S.; MURAGE, D.K.; SAULO, M.J.. Economic, Environmental, Health and Social Impacts of Utility Scale Solar Energy Generation: A Review. Proceedings of Sustainable Research and Innovation Conference, [S.l.], p. 39-44, oct. 2019. ISSN 2079-6226. Available at: <http://sri.jkuat.ac.ke/ojs/index.php/proceedings/article/view/769>. Date accessed: 31 mar. 2020.