RE policy is already a disaster for humans and other living things due to the calories taken out of the human food chain for fuel, the carnage of birds and the devastation of forests and grasslands to clear the ground for windmills and solar factories. Not to mention increasing the cost of power and destabilizing the grid.
“Cheer up!” they said, “Things could be worse.” Well they are going to get worse. This is just the solar panel story, the news with worn-out windmills could be worse still. But nobody ever said that saving the planet would be easy.
Consider the following statements:
•The problem of solar panel disposal “will explode with full force in two or three decades and wreck the environment” because it “is a huge amount of waste and they are not easy to recycle.”
•“The reality is that there is a problem now, and it’s only going to get larger, expanding as rapidly as the PV industry expanded 10 years ago.”
•“Contrary to previous assumptions, pollutants such as lead or carcinogenic cadmium can be almost completely washed out of the fragments of solar modules over a period of several months, for example by rainwater.”
Were these statements made by the right-wing Heritage Foundation?
Koch-funded global warming deniers? The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal?
None of the above. Rather, the quotes come from a senior Chinese solar official, a 40-year veteran of the U.S. solar industry, and research scientists with the German Stuttgart Institute for Photovoltaics.
h/t hzhousewife. More research required on the comparative maintenance costs of windmills and coal-fired stations.