Anytime the natural environment is altered, there are impacts. All energy sources have initial financial and environmental costs with setting up any type of power generation plant. All energy sources also have continuing environmental impacts.

Some energy sources have greater up-front costs while others have greater or lesser continuing costs and impacts.

Fossil fuels are acquired by mining nonrenewable resources. There are usually large exploration, mining and drilling costs and impacts. Furthermore, the burning of fossil fuels to generate energy adds additional and very major environmental impacts.

Using renewable energy sources generally involve much less environmental impacts. Developing renewable resources have various up-front financial and environmental costs. All renewable energy sources impact the environment in at least some small way.

Click the links below to explore the advantages and disadvantages of each energy source. You can click the Next icon on each Web page to move to the next energy source.