LA Times report warns about ‘environmental danger’ in solar transition

62

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

The Los Angeles Times published a report Thursday detailing the “environmental danger” of expired solar panels on the environment. 

“California has been a pioneer in pushing for rooftop solar power, building up the largest solar market in the U.S.,” the article began. “More than 20 years and 1.3 million rooftops later, the bill is coming due.”

The Times’ Rachel Kisela reported that many solar panels that were purchased beginning in 2006, when the California government “showered subsidies on homeowners” to inspire a transition away from fossil fuels, are now reaching the end of their lifespan.

“Beginning in 2006, the state, focused on how to incentivize people to take up solar power, showered subsidies on homeowners who installed photovoltaic panels but had no comprehensive plan to dispose of them. Now, panels purchased under those programs are nearing the end of their 25-year lifecycle,” Kisela reported.

CNN HOST DEMANDS REPUBLICANS BE TREATED AS ‘VERY DANGEROUS TO SOCIETY’

Workers walk past solar panels at the Gujarat Solar Park at Charanka in Patan district, about 155 miles from Ahmadabad, India, on Saturday, April 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

Workers walk past solar panels at the Gujarat Solar Park at Charanka in Patan district, about 155 miles from Ahmadabad, India, on Saturday, April 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

The problem is, when solar panels end up in landfills, “components that contain toxic heavy metals such as selenium and cadmium can contaminate groundwater.” 

This is an example of how environmental policies can have unintended consequences. “The looming challenge over how to handle truckloads of contaminated waste illustrates how cutting-edge environmental policy can create unforeseen hazards down the road,” she said. 

The Times reported that “as California barreled ahead on its renewable-energy program, focusing on rebates and — more recently — a proposed solar tax, questions about how to handle the toxic waste that would accrue years later were never fully addressed.”

“Now, both regulators and panel manufacturers are realizing that they don’t have the capacity to handle what comes next,” she continued.

BIDEN’S ENERGY POLICIES MAKING INFLATION WORSE, TOP ENERGY GROUP SAYS

Some of the more than 37,000 solar panels gather sunlight at the Space Coast Next Generation Solar Center, in Merritt Island, Fla., on May 13, 2015.

Some of the more than 37,000 solar panels gather sunlight at the Space Coast Next Generation Solar Center, in Merritt Island, Fla., on May 13, 2015.
(AP)

Toxic waste from solar panels is not just a Californian problem, but a problem nationwide. “About 140,000 panels are installed every day in the United States, and the solar industry is expected to quadruple in size between 2020 and 2030,” Kisela said. 

But there are difficulties surrounding disposal of solar panels: “Recycling solar panels isn’t a simple process. Highly specialized equipment and workers are needed to separate the aluminum frame and junction box from the panel without shattering it into glass shards.”

“Specialized furnaces are used to heat panels to recover silicon. In most states, panels are classified as hazardous materials, which require expensive restrictions on packaging, transport and storage,” she continued.

“A lack of consumer awareness about the toxicity of materials in the panels and how to dispose of them is part of the problem,” Kisela wrote.

Solar panels are seen next to a Southern California Edison electricity station in Carson, Calif., on March 4, 2022.

Solar panels are seen next to a Southern California Edison electricity station in Carson, Calif., on March 4, 2022.
(REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

President Biden has enacted policies that have hampered U.S. energy and contributed to high gas prices.

Joe Silverstein is a production assistant for Fox News Digital. 

Read More

Affiliate disclosure: The links contained in this product review may result in a small commission if you opt to purchase the product recommended at no additional cost to you. This goes towards supporting our research and editorial team and please know we only recommend high quality products.

Disclaimer: Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here