Any energy use in any way affects our nature and surroundings. However, some are worse than others. Therefore, it may be good to read about these to become aware of how to help reduce climate problems. By being read, you can make conscious choices when it comes to energy, but also a lot more. In this article we will review different types of energy sources and how they affect the environment.
In Sweden, we are actually very aware of how the various energy sources affect us and our environment, and today there are many set plans for how to reduce environmental impact. It is primarily the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency which actively works to set goals and ensure that these are achieved. Thanks to this active and conscious work, we hope to see positive results in the near future.
Environmental impact from fossil fuels
You have probably heard that fossil fuels are a real environmental boom. The process of combustion of coal, oil, natural gas and peat, which is counted as fossil fuels, is unfortunately the largest source in Sweden of emissions from carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. These substances are extremely hazardous to the environment and have a major impact on our environment. They cause acidification of our forests and water, but are also directly harmful to humans.
Although fossil fuels have a major impact on the environment, they are used in several countries around the world. This has led to several researches, and now Ohio State University researchers have managed to develop a process that will allow both oil and coal to be burned without carbon dioxide emissions. This method should also be used in the creation of useful products of biomass and coal.
Environmental impact from nuclear power plants
When it comes to nuclear power plants, it is above all the radiation risk that is the big upper. But also the extraction of uranium from the soil as well as the final disposal of already used nuclear fuel and other nuclear waste in the bedrock affects our environment in a negative way. In Sweden, Swedish Nuclear Fuel Management AB (SKB) is responsible for the planning of final disposal. It is decided that the waste should always be placed about 500 meters down in the Swedish bedrock.
You are also aware that nuclear power plants emit radioactive substances. Usually, small amounts are released into the air, but, for example, in the Chernobyl accident, larger amounts of radioactive particles were spread which caused enormous damage to both humans and nature. Some nuclear power plants also play heat in the ocean and watercourses, and above all the marine environment can be affected as cooling water used in the works increases the temperature in the ocean.
Environmental impact from renewable energy
Renewables include wind power, hydropower, biofuels and solar energy. Even though these in many ways are seen as environmentally friendly alternatives in comparison to other energy types, they actually also have a certain impact on our environment. Wind turbines can have an impact when they are to be built and placed. It is important to take into account areas in which threatened species live and where there are high natural values.
Hydroelectric power stations can affect the habitat of both animals and plants to the worse. They can also worsen their pathways. When it comes to biofuel, it is important that in the extraction process it is thought of preserving the biodiversity of our forests. Solar cells do not release any environmental hazards and are also easy to place on buildings, but on the other hand, the environment is affected by the production of the products and, similarly, when destructed when they can no longer be used.
Energy use in Sweden
Since Sweden has a lot of industries, the energy use in the country is relatively high. Among other things, the forest and paper industry accounts for a large part of energy use in the country, but private energy consumption is also high. One of the reasons for this is that we have a cold climate in Sweden. The positive is that we have become more aware of our electricity consumption and the trend is now somewhat diminishing compared with previous years.
There are energy layers that have a major impact on our nature and there are those that have very little environmental impact. But they all affect us people and our surroundings in some way. In Sweden, and many other countries, we are working hard to create more environmentally friendly alternatives for the future, and in recent years, energy consumption in Sweden has declined slowly but surely. By choosing environmentally friendly options, you can help reduce energy usage.