Published on October 31st, 2020 | by Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.0
Discarded Solar Panels Result In Toxic Pollution
Photovoltaic panels, used to produce renewable solar power, become complex pieces of electronic waste at the end of their functional lives. The International Renewable Energy Agency projects that up to 78 million metric tons of solar panels will be discarded by 2050, and that the world will be generating about 6 million metric tons of new solar e-waste annually. Recovering the silver and silicon inside them requires costly, specialized solutions. Many solar panels contain lead that can leach out as they decompose in landfills. Some panels are exported to developing countries with weak environmental protections. Most are rated for about 25 years of use, so a major influx is due to arrive shortly.