The journal “Mother Jones” is running a story exposing the toxic nature of most solar panels. Some of the highlights from the 14 companies that responded:
- 6 companies reported their panels contained lead. The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition estimates solar panels containing 2 million pounds of lead and 600,000 pounds of cadmium (a carcinogen) will need to be recycled in the coming years–in California alone.
- 3 companies had cells containing cadmium.
- 1 company uses nitrogen trifluoride in their manufacture. Nitrogen trifluoride is a greenhouse gas UP TO 17,200 TIMES MORE POTENT THAN CO2! So much for the claims panels would be “carbon neutral”.
- And only seven companies provided recycling of their panels free of charge.
Compounding these problems is the fact that most solar panels are grossly inefficient energy producers. In 2007, while researching the viability of putting a 10k array on the high school, I discovered the time needed to achieve Return On Investment (ROI) was 106 years. The system at the time would have costed $73,000, and to save that sum in utility bills at the current rate would take far longer than the life of the cells themselves. Additionally, most people do not know that the cells must be maintained, and can lose from 5-25% of their productive capacity each year unless cleaned of dust, tree sap, etc.
There has been some hope that breakthroughs in production could cut the cost of solar film by a factor of 10 (from $3.33 per panel to .33 for the same output film). The problem is that type of film incorporates cyanide. Not exactly something you want to put on schools, homes, or public buildings.
Solar is at present no real hope for the world. It’s advocates have demonstrated little actual knowledge of science or engineering, and/or have blatantly lied about it’s true carbon imprint. Sadly, I’ve seen it often enough from overly-emotional “environmentalists” to expect such ignorance. More proof that the “Road to hell is paved with good intentions”.