Keywords: carbon dioxide emissions, renewable energy systems, global warming, environmental impact, life cycle assessment, LCA, land use, materials, energy efficiency, solar energy, solar power, wind power, wind energy, geothermal energy, geothermal power
Renewable energy systems: the environmental impact approach
High energy consumption and the world population increase will lead to shrinking reserves of fossil fuels. Concern about carbon dioxide emissions may discourage widespread dependence on fossil fuels and encourage the development and use of renewable energy systems employing a variety of technologies Renewable energy systems have themselves an environmental impact. Land use and material employed are two areas that may have an adverse impact on the positive environmental picture of the renewable energy systems. The objective of this paper is to analyse these impacts with the use of a very powerful tool, the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).