As you may know, I am a strong proponent of solar energy. I think we should be putting solar panels on every home and business, not just to help save human life on the planet, but also to create jobs and foster innovation. But this article in Mother Jones shines light on a negative aspect of solar panels. They don’t last, and when they die, they become toxic waste.
“‘Solar panels are an increasingly important source of renewable power that will play an essential role in fighting climate change. They are also complex pieces of technology that become big, bulky sheets of electronic waste at the end of their lives—and right now, most of the world doesn’t have a plan for dealing with that.”
But all is not lost. Some countries are aware of the problem and are out in front dealing with it:
“Under EU law, producers are required to ensure their solar panels are recycled properly. In Japan, India, and Australia, recycling requirements are in the works.”
Unfortunately, as with so many things happening, or not, in these dark days of Republican rule by the corrupt and incompetent, the United States is the slow kid in the class:
“In the United States, it’s the Wild West: With the exception of a state law in Washington, the US has no solar recycling mandates whatsoever. Voluntary, industry-led recycling efforts are limited in scope. “Right now, we’re pretty confident the number is around 10 percent of solar panels recycled,” said Sam Vanderhoof, the CEO of Recycle PV Solar.”
Often with great challenges come great opportunities. Global warming is the greatest challenge ever faced by humanity. We have the opportunity to slow it, and even possibly to make the world a better place, at least in some ways. Yet Republicans are dedicated to making it worse, squeezing every last dollar out of fossil fuels, which will cost us so much more when the real bills come due.