Oh, the irony…California’s massive push for adaptation of solar over the last several decades in order to ascertain more “clean” energy is now becoming a problem for landfills.
After 1.3 million solar installs later, the first push of panels are reaching the end of their “typical 25-to-30-year life cycle”, according to Yahoo.
And now for the coda to the “clean energy” story: many of the panels are “winding up in landfills, where in some cases, they could potentially contaminate groundwater with toxic heavy metals such as lead, selenium and cadmium” the report says.
One expert told yahoo that only 1 in 10 panels are actually recycled – the rest are contributing to “truckloads of waste”, some of which is contaminated, according to the report.
Sam Vanderhoof, a solar industry expert and chief executive of Recycle PV Solar told Yahoo: “The industry is supposed to be green. But in reality, it’s all about the money.”
California has been pushing for solar since 2006, when the state approved $3.3 billion in subsidies. Now, about 15% of the state’s power comes from solar – but that belies the environmental disaster disposing of the panels has become.