Solar Panels Generate Mountains Of Waste – And Heat The Planet

Posted: September 19, 2020 by oldbrew in Big Green, Critique, Energy
Tags: , ,

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Time for climate obsessives to look the other way — again.

PA Pundits - International

By Duggan Flanakin ~

The problem of solar panel waste is now becoming evident. As environmental journalist Emily Folk admits in Renewable Energy Magazine, “when talking about renewable energy, the topic of waste does not often appear.” She attributes this to the supposed “pressures of climate change” and alleged “urgency to find alternative energy sources,” saying people may thus be hesitant to discuss “possible negative impacts of renewable energy.”

Ms. Folk admits that sustainability requires proper e-waste management. Yet she laments, “Solar presents a particular problem. There is growing evidence that broken panels release toxic pollutants … [and] increasing concern regarding what happens with these materials when they are no longer viable, especially since they are difficult to recycle.”

This is the likely reason that (except in Washington state), there are no U.S. mandates for solar recycling. A recent article in Grist reports that most used solar panels are…

View original post 1,159 more words

Comments
  1. oldbrew says:

    Four years ago the International Renewable Energy Agency estimated there were already about 250,000 metric tons of solar panel waste worldwide – and that total will explode to 78 million metric tons by 2050!

    How much of that will end up as landfill?

  2. I find this post amusing. 😁

  3. oldbrew says:

    Grist: Solar panels are starting to die. What will we do with the megatons of toxic trash?
    Aug 13, 2020

    ‘standard electronics recycling methods don’t cut it for solar panels’

    https://grist.org/energy/solar-panels-are-starting-to-die-what-will-we-do-with-the-megatons-of-toxic-trash/

  4. I can’t seem to find any reference to the 2’nd part of your title, … “and heats the planet”, which is the reason I clicked on your article, am I missing it? Why I ask is that I was curious to know if you had waste heat calculations for all the energy conversions needed to use solar/wind to generate electricity. Since waste heat is created every time energy is converted from one form to another anywhere in the universe, it seems to me that, given the many times it must be converted back and forth between AC and DC to store it in batteries and then convert it back for transmission, that the heat thereby generated will be more than a minor problem, considering the scale of what is being contemplated. When this is coupled with the fact that, in order to attain such large-scale electrification of the transportation infrastructure, trillions must first be expended, and that the only way those trillions can be created in a fossil-fueled Capitalist economy is by exhausting additional billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, which additional carbon will keep the “conversion heat” on the planet, since we will be thickening the CO2 blanket every decade by ~ 35 ppm’s, such that by 2035, it will be ~420 now, + 50ppm at the minimum in the next 15 years = 470ppm. So the ability of all that excess heat to escape into space is hampered just as much whether it’s solar, or solar converted into electricity (again and again, as it goes battery to transmission to battery. Which begs the question, “Don’t solar panels cause the exact same problem as GHG’s? Aren’t we keeping solar radiation that hits the earth’s surface from bouncing back into outer space just as effectively with solar panels as we are via the exhaustion of CO2 directly into the atmosphere? And then, as I’ve suggested above, compounding the problem by converting it into electricity, which conversion process itself creates waste heat?). THEN we have the problem of disposal. Anyway, I would appreciate your thoughts on the subject. And thank you for your article. (Have you seen Jeff Gibbs’ movie, Planet of the Humans?)

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