Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lead City University, Nigeria

2 Operations Department, Pacific Energy Company Limited, Olorunshogo, Nigeria.


Human actions such as electricity generation are contributory causes of climate change. In a quest to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases associated with electricity generation from fossil fuels, the world is turning to renewables. Renewable sources, however, also do have an impact on the environment. Likewise, renewable electricity generation is also dependent on the climate. Hydro, Wind, and Solar are the popular renewable energy sources for the generation of electricity. This work reviews the impact of these renewables in electricity generation on the environment. It also considers the effect of climate change on its use. The construction of renewable electricity generating plants leads to habitat disruptions and can also cause fatalities. Climate change weighs an enormous impact on the performance of renewable electricity generating plants. The recent blackout experienced in Texas as a result of the cold weather is a good example. The end of extreme weather conditions is not yet, and the need to start preparing to prevent a blackout re-occurrence. A possible solution for sustainable renewable electricity generation in extreme weather conditions lies in synthetic fuel availability.


  • Electricity generation pose an impact on the environment.
  • The use of fossils for electricity generation contributes to GHG emissions.
  • Reducing GHG emissions requires a shift to electricity generation from renewables.
  • Climate change can affect the efficiency of renewable electricity generation.
  • Renewable electricity generated synthetic fuels can be used during harsh conditions.


[1] O. A. Towoju and F. A. Ishola, “A Case for the internal combustion engine powered vehicle,” Energy Reports, Vol 6, pp. 315-321, 2020.
[2] O. A. Towoju, “Fuels for automobiles; the sustainable future,” Journal of Energy Research and Reviews. Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 8-13, 2021. doi: 10.9734/JENRR/2021/v7i330191.
[3] O. A. Towoju, “Carbon footprint reduction with the adoption of the electricity-powered vehicles,” International Energy Journal (IEJ), Vol. 21, No. 1A, pp. 101-106, 2021.
[4] IPCC. Summary for policymakers. In: O. Edenhofer, R. Pichs-Madruga, Y. Sokona, E. Farahani, S. Kadner, K. Seyboth A. Adler, I. Baum, S. Brunner, P. Eickemeier, B. Kriemann, J. Savolainen, S. Schlömer, C. von Stechow, T. Zwickel, J.C. Minx; editors. Climate change 2014: mitigation of climate change. Contribution of working group III to the fifth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press; 2014.
[5] O. A. Towoju and F. A. Ishola, “Pros and cons of electricity generation from different available energy sources,”International Review of Mechanical Engineering (IREME), Vol. 14, No. 6, pp. 374-380, 2020.
[6] M. A. Islam, M. Hasanuzzaman, N. Rahim, A. Nahar, and M. Hosenuzzaman. “Global renewable energy-based electricity generation and smart grid system for energy security,” The Scientific World Journal, Vol. 197136, 2014.
[7] A. Freiberg, J. Scharfe, V. C. Murta, and A. Seidler. “The use of biomass for electricity generation: a scoping review of health effects on humans in residential and occupational settings,” Int J. Environ Res Public Health. Vol 15, No. 2: 354, pp. 1-27, 2018.
[8] K. Solaun and E. Cerda, “Climate change impact on renewable energy generation: a review of quantitative projections,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 116, pp. 1-16, 2019.
[9] F. C. Jônatas da Mata, A. Z. Mesquita, and R. O. Neto, “Comparison of the performance, advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power generation compared to other clean sources of electricity,”International Nuclear Atlantic Conference –INAC, 2017.
[10] J. B. Olson, J. S. Kenyon, I. Djalalova, L Bianco, D. D. Turner, Y. Pichugina, A. Choukulkar, M. D. Toy, J. M. Brown, W. M. Angevine, E. Akish, Jian-W. Bao, P. Jimenez, B. Kosovic, K. A. Lundquist, C. Draxl,J. K. Lundquist, J. McCaa, K. McCaffrey, K. Lantz, C. Long, J. Wilczak, R. Banta, M. Marquis, S. Redfern, L. K. Berg, W. Shaw, and J. Cline. “Improving wind energy forecasting through numerical weather prediction model development,” Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. Vol 100, No. 11, pp. 2201-2220, 2019. DOI:
[11] R. Dash and S. C. Swain,” Effective power quality improvement using dynamic activate compensation system with renewable grid interfaced sources,” Ain Shams Engineering Journal, Vol 9, No. 4, pp. 2897-2905, 2018.
[12] C. Ayoo, “Towards energy security for the twenty-first century,” Intech Open, pp. 1-26, 2020.
[13] D. J. Soeder, M. S. Scyller, J. Borglum, “7 – Energy economics,” The Fossil Fuel Revolution: Shale Gas and Tight Oil, pp. 213-247, 2019.
[14] S. Yuan, Z. Li, P. Li, G. Xu, H. Gao, L. Xiao, F. Wang, and T. Wang. “Influence of check dams on flood and erosion dynamic processes of a small watershed in the loess plateau,” Water, Vol. 11, No. 834, pp. 1-16, 2019. doi:10.3390/w11040834.
[15] Utah State University, “Strategies to reduce environmental damage from dams,” Science Daily. 2016. [Online], Available:
[16] Energy Sage, “Environmental impacts of hydropower,” 2019. Accessed on 05/04/2021, [Online], Available:
[17] E. Ezcurra, E. Barrious, P. Ezcurra, A. Ezcurra, S. Vanderplank, O. VIdal, L. Villanueva-Almanza, and O. Aburto-Oropeza. “A natural experiment reveals the impact of hydroelectric dams on the estuaries of tropical rivers,” Sci. Adv., Vol. 5, No. eaau9875, pp. 1-9, 2019.
[18] D. M. Rosenberg, P. McCully, and C. M. Pringle, “Global-scale environmental effects of hydrological alterations: Introduction,” Bioscience, Vol. 50, pp. 746-751, 2000.
[19] M. Mussa, H. Teka, and H. Ayicho, “Environmental impacts of hydropower and alternative mitigation measures,” current investigations in agriculture and current research, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2018. DOI: 10.32474/CIACR.2018.02.000133
[20] J. Yardley, “Chinese dam projects criticized for their human costs,” New York Times, November 19, 2007.
[21] M. Faizal1, R. K. Chelvan, and A. Amirah, “Energy economic and environmental impact of wind power in Malaysia,” International Journal of Advanced Scientific Research and Management, Vol. 2, No. 7, pp. 81-87, 2017.
[22] K. Dai, A. Bergot, C. Liang, W. Xiang, and Z. Huang. “Environmental issues associated with wind energy - A review,” Renewable Energy, Vol. 75, pp. 911-921, 2015.
[23] R. Saidur, N. A. Rahim, M. R. Islam, and K. H. Solangi. “Environmental impact of wind energy,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 15, pp. 2423–2430, 2011. Doi: 10.1016/j.rser.2011.02.024.
[24] K. Abeliotis, and D. Pactiti, “Assessment of the environmental impacts of a wind farm in central greece during its life cycle,” International Journal of Renewable Energy Research, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 580-585, 2014.
[25] POST. Carbon footprint of electricity generation, Post note by Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, Vol. 268, pp. 1-4, 2006.
[26] P. Magoha, “Footprints in the wind? ; environmental impacts of wind power development,” Fuel and Energy Abstracts, Vol. 44, No. 3, pp. 161, 2003.
[27] L. Jacob “Visual impact assessment of offshore wind farms and prior experience,” Applied Energy, Vol. 86, pp. 380–7, 2009.
[28] V. M. Fthenakis, H. C. Kim, and E. Alsema, “Emissions from photovoltaic life cycles emissions from photovoltaic life cycles,” Environ. Sci. Technol. Vol. 42, No. 6, pp. 2168–2174, 2008.
[29] G. D. Pimentel Da Silva and D. A. C. Branco, “Is floating photovoltaic better than conventional photovoltaic? Assessing environmental impacts, ” Impact Assess. Proj. Appraisal. Vol. 36, No. 5, pp. 390-400, 2018.
[30] D. Turney and V. Fthenakis,” Environmental impacts from the installation and operation of large-scale solar power plants,” Renew. Sust. Energy Rev. Vol. 15, No. 6, pp. 3261–3270, 2011.
[31] A. J. Swart and P. E. Hertzog, “Varying percentages of full uniform shading of a PV module in a controlled environment yields linear power reduction,”J. Energy South. Africa, Vol. 27, No. 3, pp. 28–38, 2016.
[32] A. Gasparatos, C. N. H. Doll, M. Esteban, A. Ahmed, and T. A. Olang. “Renewable energy and biodiversity: implications for transitioning to a Green Economy,” Renew Sustain Energy Rev. Vol. 70, pp. 161–184, 2017.
[33] M. Grippo, J. W. Hayse, and B. L. O’Connor, “Solar energy development and aquatic ecosystems in the Southwestern United States: potential impacts, mitigation, and research needs,” Environ Assess. Vol. 55, pp. 244–256, 2015.
[34] L. J. Jr. Walston, K. E. Rollins, K. E. LaGory, K. P. Smith, and S. A. Meyers. “A preliminary assessment of avian mortality at utility-scale solar energy facilities in the United States,” Renew Energy. Vol. 92, pp. 405–414, 2016.
[35] M. Tawalbeh, A. A. Othman, F., Kafiah, E. Abdelsalam, F. Almomani, and M. Alkasrawi. “Environmental impacts of solar photovoltaic systems: A critical review of recent progress and future outlook,” Science of The Total Environment. Vol. 759, 2021.
[36] S. Chowdhury, K. S. Rahman, T. Chowdhury, N. Nuthammachot, K. Techato, M. Akhtaruzzaman, S. K. Tiong, K. Sopian, and N. Amin. “An overview of solar photovoltaic panels’ end-of-life material recycling,” Energy Strategy Reviews, Vol. 27, pp. 1 -11, 2020.
[37] T. Guerin, “A case study identifying and mitigating the environmental and community impacts from construction of a utility-scale solar photovoltaic power plant in eastern Australia,” Sol. Energy, Vol. 146, pp. 94–104, 2017.
[38] A. Dhar, A. Natth, P. D. Jennings, and M. G. El-Din. “Perspectives on environmental impacts and a land reclamation strategy for solar and wind energy systems,” Sci. Total Environ., Vol. 718, 134602, 2020. Doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134602.
[39] T. Salameh, H. Assad, M. Tawalbeh, C. Ghenai, A. Merabet, and H. F. Oztop. “Analysis of cooling load on commercial building in UAE climate using building integrated photovoltaic façade system,” Sol. Energy, Vol. 199, pp. 617–629, 2020.
[40] J. Bazán,J. Rieradevall, X. Gabarrell, I. Vazquez-Rowe. “Low-carbon electricity production through the implementation of photovoltaic panels in rooftops in urban environments: a case study for three cities in Peru,” Sci. Total Environ. Vol. 622–623, pp. 1448–1462, 2018.
[41] O. A. Towoju, and F. A. Ishola, “Feasibility studies of the conversion of agricultural and metal wastes into use as a brake pad, a numerical approach,” Journal of Advanced Research in Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Sciences,Vol. 75, No. 1, pp. 58-67, 2020.
[42] J. Cronin, G. Anandarajah, and O. Dessens, “Climate change impacts on the energy system: a review of trends and gaps,” Clim Change, Vol. 151, pp. 79–93, 2018.
[43] A. Chang, “Why The Cold Weather Caused Huge Texas Blackouts – A Visual Explainer,” February, 2021, Accessed on 24/03/2021, [Online], Available:
[44] P. Mukheibir, “Potential consequences of projected climate change impacts on hydroelectricity generation,” Climate Change, Vol. 121, pp. 67–78, 2013. 10.1007/s10584-013-0890-5.
[45] H. Zekollari, M. Huss, and D. Farinotti, “Modelling the future evolution of glaciers in the European Alps under the EURO-CORDEX RCM ensemble,” Cryosphere, Vol. 13, pp. 1125–1146, 2019.
[46] L. Laurent, J. Buonicristiani, B. Pohl, H. Zekollari, D. Farinotti, M. Huss, J. Mugnier, and J. Perguad. “The impact of climate change and glacier mass loss on the hydrology in the Mont-Blanc massif,” Sci. Rep,Vol 10, pp. 1-11, 2020. 10420.
[47] C. Harvey, “The Worlds Winds Are Speeding Up.” Scientific American, Accessed on 19/04/2021, Nov 2019 [Online], Available: .
[48] D. Carvalho, A. Rocha, M. Gomez-Gesteira, C. S. Santos. “Potential Impacts of Climate Change on European Wind Energy Resource under The CMIP5 Future Climate Projections,” Renew Energy, Vol. 101, pp.  29–40, 2017. renene.2016.08.036.
[49] S. C. Pryor and R. J. Barthelmie, “Assessing the vulnerability of wind energy to climate change and extreme events,” Clim Change, Vol. 121, pp. 79–91, 2013. 10.1007/s10584-013-0889-y.
[50] A. Mroz, J. Holnicki-Szulc, and T. Karna, “Mitigation of ice loading on off-shore wind turbines: feasibility study of a semi-active solution,” Comput Struct, Vol. 86, pp. 217–26, 2008.
[51] A. Razak,Y.M Irwan, W.Z. Leow, M Irwanto, I. Safwati, M. Zhafarina . “Investigation of the effect temperature on photovoltaic (pv) panel output performance,” Int J Adv Sci Eng Inf Technol, Vol. 6, No. 5, pp. 682-688, 2016.
[52] J. C. Perez, A. Gonzalez, J. P. Diaz, F. J. Exposito, J. Felipe. “Climate change impact on future photovoltaic resource potential in an orographically complex archipelago, the Canary Islands,” Renew Energy, Vol. 133 pp. 749–59, 2019. renene.2018.10.077.
[53] A. Patt, S. Pfenninger, and J. Lilliestam, J. “Vulnerability of solar energy infrastructure and output to climate change,” Clim Change, Vol. 121, pp. 93–102, 2013. 10.1007/s10584-013-0887-0.