REGIONAL ANALYISIS OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF PHOTOVOLTAIC PARKS IN ROMANIA. A SOWCASE OF WEST DEVELOPMENT REGION

Paul ȘerbanBianca Mitrică

Abstract

Electricity production has the greatest impact on socio-economic development in Romania. However, it is also responsible for the cumulative (often negative) environmental effects. In order to meet the energy demand, while achieving the Energy and Climate Change goals, Renewable Energy has become an important alternative, especially during 2010-2013 period when substantial funding has been allocated. Renewable energy sources available in Romania (hydro, solar, geothermal, wind and biomass) have the capacity to reduce greenhouse gases and improve population health by producing energy without using fossil fuels. The current study focuses on the examination of environmental and socio-economic impact of photovoltaic (PV) energy in the West Development Region (WDR). The area is located in the western part of Romania, covering 32,028 km2 (13.4% of the country's surface) and gathering 1,828 million inhabitants (9.4% of the country's population). It includes four counties: Timiș, Arad, Caraş-Severin and Hunedoara. For the current study, 35 photovoltaic parks were identified, mapped and analysed, based on which several indicators were computed in order to highlight the environmental and socio-economic consequences: share of PV parks/land...Continue Reading

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