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Solar Panel Waste: The Dark Side of Clean Energy

Connor Pendergast of Discover Magazine writes that there is a dark side to clean energy.

The C3 Take
  • There are many problems with the disposal practices of older-generation solar panels, and sufficient updates, as well as diversification, are needed to improve upon current industry practices.
  • The pure silicon used in the production of solar panels can leak nitrogen trifluoride and sulfur hexafluoride into the environment when not disposed of properly.
  • Solar panels, which are predominantly made in China, must innovate and become more environmentally safe.

“Regardless of their composition, solar energy is poised to be a significant part of our future as society transitions away from fossil fuels. As a result, we can expect increased production of solar panels in the coming decades, and potentially, large amounts of hazardous waste to boot. Although solar energy holds great promise as a renewable energy source, society also must stand to address and solve the waste problems it poses, or else harnessing light energy might leave us in a darker place than before.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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