Jenni Doering, host of Living on Earth, public radio’s environmental news magazine, interviewed Dr. Heather Mirletz, a recent PhD graduate of the Colorado School of Mines and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This was part of the November 24, 2023 episode of Living on Earth. (Click here for the full segment.)
Solar Panel Recycling
“As solar energy costs fall and installations of solar panels rise, some are raising concerns about the materials they’re made from and are promoting disinformation about the safety of recycling these modules.” Living on Earth, 11/24/23
Here are some quotes from Dr. Mirletz regarding this topic:
- “…the amount of PV (photovoltaic) waste is absolutely dwarfed by all of these other wastes that we manage on a daily, monthly, yearly basis. For municipal waste or coal ash, you’re getting up to 1000s of times the amount of PV waste that you would get.”
- “…what I’d like to hope is that this paper is showing how not only does PV (photovoltaic) present an opportunity for waste reduction, but also toxicity reduction in comparison to our current system. And that this is a really wonderful opportunity”
What Can Local Solar Companies Do?
Sundance Power Systems is working on keeping current with developments regarding this important issue. While it is is clear that waste from fossil fuel derived energy is massively greater than that of renewable energy, we must strive to minimize the impact of this crucial move towards solar and other types of cleaner energy.