Environmental Cost of Solar Panel Manufacturing

Wayne National Forest Solar Panel Construction
Wayne National Forest Solar Panel Construction | Image by Flickr

Many people wonder whether the production processes for photovoltaic solar panels and other PV equipment are harmful to the environment, particularly carbon intensive. There is also a lot of negative press that photovoltaic panels can be toxic to the environment. Do the benefits of the energy generated from solar panels outweigh the adverse effects of the production process?

According to NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), the truth is a polycrystalline PV module will produce enough clean energy to approximately four years to produce the energy needed to compensate. Unfortunately, you did a little more energy to spare. After a module has been manufactured and installed, will be a source of zero-emission energy for the rest of his life. More than 30 years life expectancy, nearly 90% of the power generated from the solar panel will be free of pollution.

The main production input of the PV modules is silicon, one of the most common elements on earth. It is easy from the top of the crust and worldwide, eliminating the need to transport heavy materials. Purification and crystallization of silicon is the energy intensive process for the production of PV panels. Energy is also plotted as the cutting of silicon wafers, processing wafers in cells and assemble of cells in plates. Industry

towards recycling PV modules energy savings in the reuse of silicon cells and metal. With respect to the toxicity of solar panels, experts have discussed the use of chemicals in the production process. As a result, the EPA cited certain panels as toxic and has imposed a regulation on safety of employees in the chemical handling and disposal of toxic substances. This has in turn made PV manufacturers more aware of the risks and they have standards applied to safer production.

Much of the negative news that you hear about solar energy is generated from producers of energy. They want us to believe that our current energy infrastructure is the only logical answer when it clearly is not. From the first day of a PV system is turned on, to generate clean, green electricity. And generates regardless of the system will need to reduce “dirty” electricity purchase from the owner. Average 5 kW solar electric system in Massachusetts and Connecticut will produce the equivalent of 10 to 12 barrels of oil per year. This would save about £ 10,000 of greenhouse gas emissions, comparable to planting 20 mature trees each year or driving your car 7,000 miles less per year would be.

Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Environmental-Cost-of-Solar-Panel-Manufacturing&id=5909919 by Mona Reese


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