1 Million Tons of Toxic Waste, Radiated Heat Trapped: This is Solar Energy

  • Production of solar panels produces highly toxic wastes.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency and NASA on climate change.
  • "Heat islands" caused by solar energy.
  • The deadly chemicals used in the production of solar panels.

According to the Smart Electric Power Alliance, in 2018 the solar market grew by 20.1% in total capacity. In the United States, 20 States now have community solar policies. The US ranks 2nd in the world in the use of renewable energy resources, mostly in the form of solar energy. The top 10 list is as follows:

  1. China
  2. United States
  3. Japan
  4. Germany
  5. India
  6. Italy
  7. United Kingdom
  8. Australia
  9. France
  10. South Korea

Taking a look at the presently available alternatives to fossil fuels, and the pollutions caused by them, we can see that we have not yet found a viable solution to the problem of over-heating the planet. Solar panels, ethanol, certain biofuels, and just about every form of alternative energy source being implemented today are still harmful to our environment.

Ethanol, though it’s better than the common type of gasoline, still produces greenhouse gases. Therefore it is not a total solution to the problem.

Wind produced energy is by far the cleanest.

Solar energy is just a replacement for fossil fuel and by no means is it any safer for the environment. The production process of solar panels produces a vast amount of hazardous toxic waste, and the very use of solar panel systems create what is referred to as “heat islands.”

If a person is on a roof of a building that has solar panels mounted on it, they will certainly feel the heat generated by their use. This heat is reradiated heat that goes into the surrounding local area. Comparably, a solar electric array the size of three football fields will generate approximately the same amount of heat as a large manufacturing facility that emits large amounts of heat, or the same size as a small metropolis.

We already have a greenhouse situation that is blocking radiated heat from escaping the earth’s atmosphere, back into space. Prudence alone should dictate that the heat being generated by solar panels is helping to heat the planet from the ground up.

Solar cells are black and designed to absorb sunlight, not radiated heat. An average of only 12% to 18% of that sunlight is actually turned into electricity. The remaining 82% to 88% is reradiated heat and poured into the air, which adds to global warming, even if at lower levels.

The manufacturing process involved in making solar panels includes the use of some very volatile chemical elements, one of which is lead.

In 2012, The National Toxicology Program concluded that there is sufficient evidence for adverse health effects in children and adults at the BLL<5ug/dL level. It’s the very reason that led was removed from other common use metals many years ago.

Another deadly chemical element used in the making of solar panels is Chromium. The toxicity of Chromium VI is due to its strong oxidation capabilities. When it reaches the blood stream, be it by inhalation or any other means, it quickly destroys the kidneys and liver via oxidation reactions, resulting in Renal, Hemolysis, and Liver failure.

Cadmium is yet another deadly chemical element used in making solar panels. Cadmium and its compounds are highly toxic and exposure to this metal is known to cause cancer and targets the body’s cardiovascular, renal, gastrointestinal, neurological, reproductive, and respiratory systems.

Japan’s Environment Ministry forecasts their country’s solar panel waste will exceed 10,000 tons by 2020, and will exceed 100,000 tons by 2031. If we use this number as an average for  just the other top 10 countries using solar panels, we come up with over a 100,000 tons of toxic waste that must be dealt with in some way, somehow, right now. In ten years there will be 10 time’s that amount to deal with. Let’s not forget that toxic chemicals and toxic waste weigh heavily on the environment. Also, there are no facilities in place that can sustain mass recycling of solar panel components, and solar panels only have a life expectancy of 10 years. Most electric vehicles produce the same toxic wastes.

So is the threat of global warming a reality or is it still objectionable? The two most knowledgeable organizations that can answer that question is, The Environmental Protection Agency and NASA. Here’s a bit of what they have to say on the matter:

EPA“The Earth’s surface temperature has risen by about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past century, with accelerated warming during the past two decades. Current evidence suggests that it is likely that human activities have contributed to this warming. Human activities have altered the chemical composition of the atmosphere by increasing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) – primarily carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide – through the combustion of fossil fuels and from various agricultural and industrial processes.

While there is uncertainty regarding the human and ecological impacts of climate change, scientists have identified that our health, agriculture, water resources, forests, wildlife and coastal areas are vulnerable to the changes that global warming may bring.”

NASA – “Carbon dioxide forces the Earth’s energy budget out of balance by absorbing thermal infrared energy (heat) radiated by the surface. It absorbs thermal infrared energy with wavelengths in a part of the energy spectrum that other gases, such as water vapor, do not. Although water vapor is a powerful absorber of many wavelengths of thermal infrared energy, it is almost transparent to others. The transparency at those wavelengths is like a window the atmosphere leaves open for radiative cooling of the Earth’s surface. The most important of these “water vapor windows” is for thermal infrared with wavelengths centered around 10 micrometers. (The maximum transparency occurs at 10 micrometers, but partial transparency occurs for wavelengths between about 8 and about 14 micrometers.)

Carbon dioxide is a very strong absorber of thermal infrared energy with wavelengths longer than 12-13 micrometers, which means that increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide partially “close” the atmospheric window. In other words, wavelengths of outgoing thermal infrared energy that our atmosphere’s most abundant greenhouse gas—water vapor—would have let escape to space are instead absorbed by carbon dioxide.”

Here we can see that a lot of the heat being produced at ground level, in the form of radiated and reradiated heat is being trapped in the atmosphere, further compounding the problem. Just this week, the National Weather Service issued this forecast.

To date, solar energy has not been a viable solution to fossil fuels and runaway greenhouse gases. At best it is just a replacement, that does the same thing. It’s like putting a toilet in a barn. It’s already full of crap. Which again begs the question, “Is there a real alternative?” This Journalist believes there is. And if Tesla can do it, and I can do it, and your government can do it, then why the hell aren’t we doing it?

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Michael L Clark

 Political Analyst, Independent Journalist/ Contributor; Politics, Environment, Technology, Science, Biology, Future Tech's, Space Technology, Middle East.

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