Solar Panels Toxic Waste

The problem is that media reporting is based on quick and easy reportage. The reporters dwell on short term damage like oil spills that nature handles fairly rapidly. Nuclear, solar, and wind have a much longer term waste problem. 

Nuclear pollutes by mining, radiating the plant itself, potential nuclear accidents, nuclear waste that is never disposed of well, and the cost of all of the above is rarely analyzed. The consumers pay the toll. Here in Illinois we are now paying lots of money to keep open plants that should have been closed and shut down. Later we will pay to have them actually closed. The radioactive rubble will remain, possibly leaching into the water table.

IMHO natural gas, hydro, ethanol, and thermal are the cleanest. Oil in the middle, nuclear and coal the worst. Biomass better than coal.  

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Nuclear, in fact, is not dirty as regards emissions. It's the risk of a disaster that gives it its bad name.

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Good to get a heads up on this topic. I did a search about it, and among the results was new legislation in my state of Washington. Posted on the state's Department of Ecology website is the following.

In 2017, the Washington Legislature passed Senate Bill 5939 to promote a sustainable, local renewable energy industry through modifying tax incentives. 

One portion of the bill created Chapter 70.355 RCW (Photovoltaic Module Stewardship and Takeback Program), which requires manufacturers of solar panels, also known as photovoltaic or "PV" modules, to provide the public a convenient and environmentally sound way to recycle all modules purchased after July 1, 2017.

... Manufacturers are required to finance the takeback and recycling system at no cost to the owner of the PV module.

...

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(edited)

In reply to Marina Schwarz: The certain disaster is that the consumers will pay the true cost of nuclear power over their lifetime and their descendants will continue to pay until the problem is solved if it ever is. 

Please see Dangers of Nuclear Plants and Radioactive Waste https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Jp7yumkT6T1tEAdC4jb1K6LvO45rtoHwFbRcl08rrS4/edit

and Three Nuclear Power Plants Closing http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/380788-utility-to-close-3-nuclear-power-plants

Edited by ronwagn
reference
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On 5/28/2018 at 2:02 AM, Marina Schwarz said:

Nuclear, in fact, is not dirty as regards emissions. It's the risk of a disaster that gives it its bad name.

This is true, but all thermal power uses copious amounts of water for generation and with all the droughts going on, it is a wise idea not to use up all the water resources for electric generation if you don't have to.

.Nuclear is the most expensive form of power right now, in part because of the regulation, and long term storage facilities needed for the waste.  (Coal is pretty bad as well as no one was solved the ash problem.) Even in the EU, it isn't less expensive. In the US, the reactors aren't flexible, so they create a worse grid issue for an efficiently managed grid.


 

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On 5/25/2018 at 4:47 AM, Marina Schwarz said:

 

"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.”

This is fear mongering. They may not be easy to recycle, but they are recyclable.
In otherwords, we -may- have an issue, but it isn't an unsolvable issue. It just isn't cost effective =today=.. But you turn around and look at coal ash pits or nuclear waste, and it is essentially buried to be forgotten about. 

This isn't even getting into the rapid progression of how the panel technology itself is changing. In 10 years, they maybe fully recyclable, and even in the last 5 years, they have significantly cut down on how much material they have used per panel.

 

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Replying to Solanum: Glad to see the acknowledgment of the problem. I am not against solar, or wind, i just think that using natural gas is a better solution for energy needs. Super abundant, cheap, and clean. No environmental problem or cost problem. 

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Honestly, I get the feeling that 90% of news is fear-mongering of one kind of another. If not more. Which is only to be expected. I don't know what the space left for efficiency and recyclability improvements is in solar panels but I hope you're right and there's still a lot of it. 

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I’d be more concerned with amount of toxic waste released during manufacturing process. 
https://spectrum.ieee.org/green-tech/solar/solar-energy-isnt-always-as-green-as-you-think

For some reason, I suspect panels manufacturers are behind this recent unexpected CFC  increase in the atmosphere...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/05/16/someone-somewhere-is-making-a-banned-chemical-that-destroys-the-ozone-layer-scientists-suspect/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.04c31005193b

Considering marginal economics and several high-profile failures, many operators won’t be around to pay the piper. Delegating utilisation responsibility to governments and letting them to accumulate payment would 1) conflict with subsidies and 2) likely ends badly, as money may be long gone. 

I’d focus on mandating to make panels less leachable do they can go into regular landfill. 

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