GEOLINKS International Conference 2020, Book 2
ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
REGIONAL ANALYISIS OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF PHOTOVOLTAIC PARKS IN ROMANIA. A SOWCASE OF WEST DEVELOPMENT REGION
Dr. Monica Dumitrașcu, PhD Student Alexandra Vrînceanu, Dr. Irena Mocanu, Dr. Paul Șerban, Dr. Ines Grigorescu, Dr. Bianca Mitrică6
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 the 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 use category/main soil type; distance to forests, waters, Natura 2000; no. of jobs created during the construction/operation of the PV parks; the value of PV parks investment; the impact on the local budget. The total analyzed area covers 177.76 ha.
photovoltaic (PV) parks, environmental impact, socio-economic impact, West Development Region (WDR), Romania