The Environmental Downside of Solar Power

business_ethics_highlights_2It is said there’s no such thing as a free lunch. People who rest their hopes on solar energy seem to assume otherwise. But as the piece linked below highlights, solar cells are energy-intensive to produce, and their production results in toxic byproducts. (On the other hand, many technologies are inefficient at first, but early efforts lead to better and better stuff in the longer run. Might today’s underwhelming solar industry be essential to the better, cleaner solar cells of tomorrow?) >>>

LINK: The darker side of solar power

…It’s not clear if … voters would be as gung-ho about solar power, however, if they considered the environmental implications of its expansion. The industry doesn’t talk much, or at all, about the downsides of manufacturing solar panels or where all these panels will end up when they conk out. Think of how much toxic waste is generated by consumer electronics and you get a small inkling of what a world lit with solar power, and the batteries needed to store their energy, might look like.

Solar power is still a marginal energy source, accounting for about 1 per cent of global electricity production. Yet, its environmental impact is already considerable….

What do you think?

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