Thursday, May 13, 2010
Not so green
Install solar panels, and save the planet! Well, not so fast. Solar cells are high-tech electronic products that contain hazardous materials.
Read more here
Going to Mother Jones site we read more-
"How toxic are your solar panels? The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC), a group that has done more than any other to clean up the electronics industry, attempted to answer that question today with the release of its Solar Scorecard. It didn't get very far. Of the 25 solar manufacturers that SVTC contacted, only 14, which together represent just 24 percent of the solar market, even responded. And their answers weren't always heartening. Among SVTC's findings:
* Six companies report that their products contain lead, a potent neurotoxin.
* Three companies report that their products contain cadmium, a known carcinogen.
* One company uses nitrogen triflouride, a potent greenhouse gas
* Only seven companies provide recycling free of charge
* Only eight companies said their would support "extended producer responsibility" laws that would require them to take back or recycle their products"
So they're pretty pollutant. So why install them?
Could it be that they attract a government subsidy?
"Until last week, there was very little reason to stick expensive electricity-producing solar panels on your roof unless you passionately believed in joining the crusade against global warming.
Now, however, there is a strong financial case to do so.
The Government has introduced new 'feed-in tariffs' for clean electricity, which means that a £12,500 investment in solar energy producing panels will pay a tax-free return of six to eight per cent per annum. That is more than double the best High Street savings accounts."
So, not only are they polluting, the poor taxpayer pays a dividend to anyone installing them. Another green fiasco that ranks with mercury filled energy saving lightbulbs that don't give off enough light to read by, and which can be dangerous to anyone who suffers from fits.
And all to make someone feel better?