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Impacts of Photovoltaic Farms on the Environment in the Romanian Plain

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Physical Geography Department, Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy, 12 Dimitrie Racoviţă Street, Sector 2, 023993 Bucharest, Romania
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Environment and GIS Department, Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy, 12 Dimitrie Racoviţă Street, Sector 2, 023993 Bucharest, Romania
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Human Geography and Regional Development Department, Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy, 12 Dimitrie Racoviţă Street, Sector 2, 023993 Bucharest, Romania
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(13), 2533; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12132533
Received: 5 June 2019 / Revised: 26 June 2019 / Accepted: 27 June 2019 / Published: 1 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Energy and Environment)
Under the European Union (EU) energy efficiency targets that Romania has assumed, increasing the share of solar energy has been one of the main points to be considered. The most important solar energy resources are found in the lowlands and low hills in southern and south-eastern parts of the country. The current paper is focused on the Romanian Plain, which has the best environmental conditions to support the development of photovoltaic (PV) farms. One hundred and ten PV farms have been identified and mapped which cover a total area of 1393 hectares. Although it provides a clean and sustainable energy source, the related environmental implications of PV farms could be either positive or negative. In this study, some of the main categories of impacts have been selected for identification and analysis of their environmental consequences. Several indicators have been computed: the share of PV farms from the main land use/cover categories and main soil types, and the distance of PV farms to forests, water bodies, or protected areas. The overall results of the study reveal the current and potential impacts of PV farms in order to understand the interactions between the environment and the use of renewable energy sources and further support science-based solutions for sustainable development. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar energy; photovoltaic farms; environmental impact; Romanian Plain solar energy; photovoltaic farms; environmental impact; Romanian Plain
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Vrînceanu, A.; Grigorescu, I.; Dumitrașcu, M.; Mocanu, I.; Dumitrică, C.; Micu, D.; Kucsicsa, G.; Mitrică, B. Impacts of Photovoltaic Farms on the Environment in the Romanian Plain. Energies 2019, 12, 2533.

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