August 18, 2022

There Is ‘Environmental Danger’ In Solar Transition, According To A LA Times Report

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There Is 'Environmental Danger' In Solar Transition, According To A LA Times Report

The “environmental hazard” posed by outdated solar panels to the environment was described in a study published by The Los Angeles Times on Thursday.

The article’s opening line read, “California has been a pioneer in pushing for rooftop solar electricity, building up the largest solar market in the U.S. “The bill is due after more than 20 years and 1.3 million rooftops,”

Many solar panels that were bought starting in 2006, when the California government “showered subsidies on households” to encourage a move away from fossil fuels, are now nearing the end of their useful lives, according to Rachel Kisela of The Times.

“Beginning in 2006, the state, which was interested in finding ways to encourage individuals to use solar energy, lavished subsidies on houses that installed photovoltaic panels but lacked a detailed plan for getting rid of them. Currently, the panels bought under those initiatives are almost at the end of their 25-year lifespan “According to Kisela,

The issue is that parts from solar panels that end up in landfills “may contaminate groundwater with harmful heavy metals like selenium and cadmium.”

This is an illustration of how environmental regulations sometimes have unforeseen effects. She noted that the impending issue of how to handle truckloads of polluted waste serves as an example of how forward-thinking environmental regulation can produce unanticipated dangers in the future.

There Is 'Environmental Danger' In Solar Transition, According To A LA Times Report

The Times noted that “issues about how to handle the toxic waste that would accrue years later were never completely addressed as California barreled ahead on its renewable-energy program, focused on incentives and — more recently — a proposed solar tax.”

Regulators and panel makers are now discovering that they are ill-equipped to deal with what comes next, she said.

The issue of toxic waste from solar panels affects the entire country, not just California. According to Rachel Kisela, “around 140,000 panels are installed each day in the United States, and between 2020 and 2030, the solar sector is anticipated to double in size.”

However, there are challenges related to solar panel disposal: “Solar panel recycling is a challenging procedure. To extract the aluminum frame and connection box from the panel without breaking it into glass shards, highly skilled tools and personnel are required.”

“Panels are heated in specialized furnaces to extract silicon. The majority of states classify panels as hazardous products, which necessitates pricey limitations on packaging, transit, and storage “She went on.

Part of the issue, according to Kisela, is that consumers are not aware of the toxicity of the materials used in the panels and how to properly dispose of them.

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