Environmental hazards from energy industries
All forms of power production carry measurable risks which must be weighed against the benefits resulting from the power thus made available. Conversely, the complete elimination of these risks, possible only if the power sources were not used, needs to be weighed against the consequent disadvantage of having no power. Compared to the hazards involved in nuclear power generation, there appear to be considerably greater hazards in the case of coal, somewhat greater for oil and possibly somewhat less for natural gas. Hydro-electric, solar and other forms of power generation cannot be considered on the same scale.
There are local effects due to the spatial impact of the development of infrastructures for the production and distribution of energy not only from conventional fuels. Any potential side-effect from the use of renewable energy sources (e.g. hydropower plants, unsustainable use of biomass or large scale energy plantations) should also be taken into account.