Report claims to debunk two pervasive myths about solar panels
Dire warnings about toxic mountains of solar panel waste might be overblown.
Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado have just published a report in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Physics that pushes back on two common myths about solar panels: the perceived toxicity of solar panels and the idea that widespread solar power adoption will result in a mountain of waste that will have a devastating impact on the environment.
According to this Forbes article, the report claims that the cumulative amount PV module waste anticipated by 2050 is dwarfed by the waste expected to be generated by fossil fuel energy in the same period and states that the volume of coal ash and oily sludge waste from fossil fuel energy will be up to 300–800 times and 2–5 times greater, respectively, than the amount of solar panel waste anticipated. The authors of the report also point out that most solar waste is already recyclable and that there is a growing recycling industry developing around the recovery of solar panel materials for reuse.
Cool story... I just wish the original report wasn't hidden behind a paywall. It would have been interesting to learn more about the research.