Solar Energy: Dirtier Than We Think

Solar Energy: Dirtier Than We Think

There are 1 comment on the Daily Policy Digest story from Feb 15, 2013, titled Solar Energy: Dirtier Than We Think. In it, Daily Policy Digest reports that:

Proponents of solar energy often tout that solar panels produce far less pollution than coal or natural gas during energy production.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Daily Policy Digest.


Twentynine Palms, CA

#1 Feb 16, 2013
"While the 20 year life of a solar panel still makes it the cleanest energy producing method, shipping hazardous waste, which is usually generated from water runoff in the production process, can add significantly to the carbon footprint of a product. Environmental advocates argue for more transparency in and adherence to the industry's reporting requirements given that the vast majority of solar companies have not been cited for pollution violations."

There are still old ARCO solar PV panels manufactured in the 1970's that are in use today. The 20 to 25 year figure is an industry standard for the warranty period of the panels. The panels should put out 80% or greater power of a new panel after the 20 to 25 year period. With the price of panels at a low, it is now possible to over design a system and put in 25 to 35% capacity over what is "just" needed to get by. Manufacturing has improved as well as panel sealing and connection technology. If a manufacturer is willing to warranty their product for 25 years, then how long will they really last and put out good usable power? From some of the old ARCO panels still being used today, perhaps an expected 50 year lifespan for the solar panels could be common. How much air pollution would an equivalent gas powered peaker plant create over a 50 year period? Cost to maintain and operate? Cost to meet new clean air standards?

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Renewable Energy Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News CO2 Emissions Dropped In 47 States Due To Natur... Wed Davy 2
News Half a Billion Solar Panels is happening in spi... Wed Ritual Habitual 1
News Clinton's Iowa dilemma Wed Ace Milner 2
News B.C. VIEWS: Lights out for Site C opponents Wed sad 1
News Republican Frontrunners Avoid Climate Change Tue Into The Night 59
News Without Government Backing, Solar Power Can't C... Tue Solarman 4
News Parched Emirates relies on sea as groundwater r... Nov 24 Solarman 1
More from around the web