Environmental Impact Assessment is a formal process, that is now enshrined in UK law, that ensures certain types of development activity, including ‘green’ technologies like wind or solar farms, undergo an assessment process before they are built.
It used to be the case in history that factories, or other types of industrial activity such as mining or wood-cutting, could be carried out without checking on the effects on the environment. In recent Society grew to understand however that allowing all industrial activity to go on without first understanding the effects on the environments led to unacceptable pollution and even worse the extinction of important species of animal.
In the modern age, before a large development such as a wind farm can be allowed to go ahead, there must first be completed an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) completed, that will assess and highlight any impacts on the environment (and try to avoid them) before the project is started.
The EIA process plays a vital and beneficial role to promote responsible development so that humans can continue to enjoy the benefits of modern living without exceeding the capacity of our environment to sustain us.