Study warns solar farms could unleash unintended consequences on the environment, including global warming

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A new study finds there could be unintended consequences of constructing massive solar farms in deserts around the world. The eye-opening research claims that huge solar farms, such as in the Sahara, could usher in environmental crises, including altering the climate and causing global warming.

The study was carried out by Zhengyao Lu, a researcher in Physical Geography at Lund University, and Benjamin Smith, director of research at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University. The results of their research were published in a Feb. 11 article in The Conversation.

Solar panels are darker colors such as black and blue to attract and absorb more heat, but they are usually much darker than the ground around the solar panel. The post cites an article that claims most solar panels are between 15% and 20% efficient in converting sunlight into usable energy. The researchers assert that the rest of the sunlight is returned to the surrounding environment as heat, “affecting the climate.”

The article notes that in order to replace fossil fuels, solar farms would need to be enormous — covering thousands of square miles, according to this article. Solar farms of this magnitude potentially present environmental consequences, not just locally but globally. – READ MORE

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