The dark side of solar energy
Scientists are researching the impact solar farms have on their local environment. Two solar farms in South Africa are the focus of their studies. Their primary concerns range from birds to water loss. They will collect information on birds that may suffer from collision with solar panels. Also, because solar farms need to be near a water source, they will investigate water loss to an already arid climate. Problems have emerged on previous projects while areas were cleared for heliostats and dust slowed progress. The group hopes to find the collective impact from several farms springing up in the area. Will the results reveal a dark side to solar energy? Or is it more likely that the negative impact of fossil-fueled energy continues to eclipse any derived from solar energy? Either way, their research should shine a light on how to minimize environmental concerns for future projects.
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