TED Conversations

Noel Laporte

This conversation is closed.

What form of renewable energy has or will have the lowest impact on biodiversity?

Climate change, air pollution, rising sea levels and species extinction can all be attributed to the increasing usage of non-renewable energy in the world today. Non-renewable energy reserves are diminishing and finite with an ever-increasing demand from countries around the world. Coal, natural gas and oil all have detrimental effects on the environment. These effects are both local and global, harming species throughout the world. As we consider different renewable forms of energy, can we rank their potential impacts on biodiversity?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Apr 24 2013: The energy problem is really serious in the world now. Many people work on this problem and they want to find some new resources which are renewable. For example, the solar energy geothermal energy, light energy and biofuel are used widely in these years. All of these energy are renewable and less pollution. But if we consider about the effect of new energy resource on the biodiversity, we may need to do it more careful.
    For the biofuel, it is a very green and new energy resource in the world. Biofuel always come from the plants, which is very easy to plant. To use the biofuel, people need to plant many energy plants, but these plants will grab the land, energy and resource from the native plants. What's more, the human effect will cause the energy plants more easier to survive than the native plants. After several evolutions, the native plants may die out which will affect the biodiversity. Then the overload energy plants will destroy the land and make a non-renewable lose of biodiversity.
    • thumb

      Eun Min

      • +2
      Apr 24 2013: I used to volunteer a project called Algae project, which was converting algae to biofuel. Basically, we feed algae with its required food source in a bucket with water, and let it grow under the Sun. Then, we harvest algae and dry it under the Sun. Growing algae is not a problem, but converting algae to biofuel is hard, chemistry. Converting small amount of algae would be easy even you can make biofuel at home. However, providing energy all over the world is still hard with our current technology on biofuel.
      Another problem would be taking up lands if we make a pool to grow algae which will destroy the biodiversity on the land. If we grow algae in the ocean or a lake, it also alters marine biodiversity.
      I cannot think of any energy without altering or disturbing biodiversity.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.