Wait… but clean… it’s green energy… it can’t… but it comes from the sun… how can it not be good for the environment?
Fueled partly by billions in government incentives, the industry is creating millions of solar panels each year and, in the process, millions of pounds of polluted sludge and contaminated water.
To dispose of the material, the companies must transport it by truck or rail far from their own plants to waste facilities hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of miles away.
And how are these trucks full of Clean Green Energy Toxic Waste transported? By sunshine? By wind power?
The fossil fuels used to transport that waste, experts say, is not typically considered in calculating solar’s carbon footprint, giving scientists and consumers who use the measurement to gauge a product’s impact on global warming the impression that solar is cleaner than it is.
After installing a solar panel, “it would take one to three months of generating electricity to pay off the energy invested in driving those hazardous waste emissions out of state,” said Dustin Mulvaney, a San Jose State University environmental studies professor who conducts carbon footprint analyses of solar, biofuel and natural gas production.
Clean Green Energy creates toxic waste that must be transported by fume spewing trucks. I almost feel like Al Gore lied to me, but we all know that’s completely impossible.
The state records show the 17 companies, which had 44 manufacturing facilities in California, produced 46.5 million pounds of sludge and contaminated water from 2007 through the first half of 2011. Roughly 97 percent of it was taken to hazardous waste facilities throughout the state, but more than 1.4 million pounds were transported to nine other states: Arkansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.
Can’t we just go nuclear? We would have steadier and cheaper energy. But ecofreaks hate nuclear. Still it’s solar panels. It’s from the sun. It can’t possibly be too toxic. Can it?
Solyndra, the now-defunct solar company that received $535 million in guaranteed federal loans, reported producing about 12.5 million pounds of hazardous waste, much of it carcinogenic cadmium-contaminated water.
The bad news is that taxpayers shelled out 40 dollars per pound of carcinogenic toxic waste. The good news, is that it’s Clean Green carcinogenic toxic waste that comes from the sun.
Before the company went bankrupt, leading to increased scrutiny of the solar industry and political fallout for President Barack Obama’s administration, Solyndra said it created 100 megawatts-worth of solar panels, enough to power 100,000 homes.
Just out of curiosity, how many people can 12.5 million pounds of carcinogenic waste kill?