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The quiet underside of going green

Delaware Online -- Homeowners on the hunt for sparkling solar panels are lured by ads filled with images of pristine landscapes and bright sunshine, and words about the technology’s benefits for the environment – and the wallet.

What customers may not know is that there’s a dirtier side.

While solar is a far less polluting energy source than coal or natural gas, many panel makers nevertheless are grappling with a hazardous waste problem. 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.


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Submitted Feb 17, 2013 By: EZExit
Category: Daily News Article Discussions > Topics Add to favorite topics  
Author Topic: The quiet underside of going green Back to Topics
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tomok
Champion Author Portland

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Message Posted: Mar 2, 2013 12:51:27 AM

The quiet underside of going green, solar panels maybe 'green' but the underside has its problems. Producing solar panels requires exotic elements, heavy metals and strong greenhouse gases that are much stronger than CO2 or methane will ever be. Properly taking care of waste materials are necessary to ensure non polluted land and a cleaner environment. Do the right thing!
Fracking and oil spills as a result of production and are in the same area......
I remember many articles that said there were different manufacturing techniques that did not use 'dirty' materials and produced solar panels without all the 'bad' stuff.
Drive vehicles with high MPG, are very safe, reliable, have a ‘reasonable’ cost and a good ‘value’ for the money.
The price of fuel at the pump is too high!
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honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Feb 24, 2013 5:56:26 AM

one must also remember that almost all goods purchased in the US (not including food or fuel) is manufactured in China. The environmental conditions there are much worse and the US buyers fuel the environmental contamination w/ the demand for cheaper and cheaper products.
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honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Feb 23, 2013 6:59:31 AM

anytime money can be syphoned off w/ work, some crook will find a way to do it. Sadly, it's human nature.
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teenitup
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2013 11:57:14 AM

Filthy business it would appear.
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drpepperTX
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2013 9:58:32 AM

The key thing to remember here is that there are those that will defend solar in the most hypocritical of ways.

As the article points out, "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."

And, "The waste from manufacturing has raised concerns within the industry, which fears that the problem, if left unchecked, could undermine solar’s green image at a time when companies are facing stiff competition from each other and from low-cost panel manufacturers from China and elsewhere."

You see, the solar manufacturing industry itself fears this dirty side getting any mainstream news coverage.

"New companies often send hazardous waste out of their plants because they have not yet invested in on-site treatment equipment, which allows them to recycle some waste."

Why not? Greed perhaps? Or just not caring about containment and proper disposal because making a profit creating these toxic chemical soups?

"Several solar energy experts said they have not calculated the industry’s total waste and were surprised at what the records showed.

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, which was sent to waste facilities from 2007 through mid-2011."

Yes, but we must overlook these facts and be good little green fanatics.

"Life cycle analysts add up all the global warming pollution that goes into making a certain product – from the mining needed for components to the exhaust from diesel trucks used to transport waste and materials. Not factoring the hazardous waste transport into solar’s carbon footprint is an obvious oversight, analysts said.

“The greenhouse gas emissions associated with transporting this waste is not insignificant,” Mulvaney said.

Mulvaney noted that shipping, for example, 6.2 million pounds of waste by heavy-duty tractor-trailer from Fremont, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay area, to a site 1,800 miles away could add 5 percent to a particular product’s carbon footprint."

Interesting in that we keep hearing that solar is "free" energy. Looks like according to the global warming alarmists it's not so free. But we already know that nothing is free.

And finally, "The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, a watchdog group created in 1982 in response to severe environmental problems associated with the valley’s electronics industry, is now trying to keep the solar industry from making similar mistakes through a voluntary waste reporting “scorecard.”

So far, only 14 of 114 companies contacted have replied."

Why the secrecy? What do they fear from transparency? What are they really hiding?

These are the questions and what really is to be taken from this article.
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Skunk63
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2013 7:30:29 AM

So green is the new brown?
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WEB0153
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2013 5:23:56 AM

ok
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JohnLM
Champion Author Orlando

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2013 5:21:37 AM

The lefties tend to be about feel good ideas that have little chance of succeeding, but when problems come up they blame them on others or dismiss them as not a big deal.
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coughlin
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2013 4:44:26 AM

2 sides to everything.
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unicornpmb
Champion Author Buffalo

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:50:59 PM

Good to know.
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BeulahME
Champion Author Maine

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:50:33 PM

Green is not always Green.
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RickF350
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:47:43 PM

I have a solar light in the back yard, it hasn't worked all winter.
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10k
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:45:13 PM

there is no quiet underside of going green-just like ethanol, it's screaming loud and long, but nobody's doing a darn thing about it..
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humblepie
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:44:59 PM

solar, fowling the earth for years to come
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yonasb
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:44:49 PM

old
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GLCSHADOW
Champion Author Oregon

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:42:10 PM

Everything has a downside.
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76chevy
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:37:59 PM

We can't all be perfect like you jrsva.

Seems you are also against free speech.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/dailyfray/the-extent-of-obama-39-s-solyndra-problem-20110902

Sorry to tarnish the image of your hero. Not even a mention of FNC. Now maybe ABC news is in the same category as FNC to you. If FNC is so bad or wrong why doesn't some other network document this? If you don't want to know what is really going on your doing a good job.

And perfect what I will not say.
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KrsnaDragon
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:35:35 PM

Old 'news'.
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jcdakota
Champion Author Baltimore

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:31:58 PM

Old news.
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bell013
All-Star Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:29:51 PM

Old news.
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kgbellman
Champion Author Ann Arbor

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:26:35 PM

repeat - but many don't think of the waste from manufacturing
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tedjm1
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:26:19 PM

Takes nup too much space tobe worthwhile.
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wayoung56
Champion Author Alabama

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:25:22 PM

Hmmm...
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jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:24:47 PM


76chevy, exactly what sort of “Federal loads” did Solyndra receive in return for “campaing funds”? Gossip is undocumented chatter. Facts come with source references so others can verify them. Got any references? And don’t quote Faux Noise.
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Cableman66
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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:22:29 PM

Old news.
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jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:19:42 PM


“And speaking of drivel . . . I see that @clermont40miles has graced us with a comment.”

I put him on Ignore years ago. Gotta keep the old blood pressure in check.
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stratlinetime
Champion Author Kalamazoo

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:18:56 PM

Old article
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Bigwaynef
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:18:22 PM

Just don't do green, it's bad for ya...
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crreed1
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:17:13 PM

old news
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76chevy
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:16:50 PM

Facts...hmmm....we know that Solyndra received Federal loads and special consideration for investors to recover their money back after members of Solyndra's management arranged bundling campaing funds for obama. FACT.
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bridgerunner
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:16:10 PM

I don't trust them.
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GRUMPY55
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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:15:37 PM

Too expensive
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bell05
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:15:14 PM

old news
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boatfloyd
Champion Author Jacksonville

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:15:06 PM

Everything cost money.
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jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:14:45 PM


Why in the world would anyone ship hazardous waste from California to Rhode Island? Or to Minnesota or Arkansas for that matter. Factories in CA should deal properly with their waste materials nearby. At least most plants are dealing with them, not polluting air and water.
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heartbroken2010
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:14:13 PM

Interesting.
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mcbrownie220
Sophomore Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:13:45 PM

ok
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Aviator_Rob
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:12:55 PM

Here's what you need to know after reading this article:

"The roughly 20-year life of a solar panel makes it some of the cleanest energy technology available. Energy derived from natural gas and coal-fired power plants, for example, creates more than 10 times more hazardous waste than the same energy created by a solar panel, according to Mulvaney.

The U.S. solar industry said it is reporting its waste, and sending it to approved storage facilities – thus keeping it out of the nation’s air and water. A coal-fired power plant, in contrast, sends mercury, cadmium and other toxins directly into the air, which pollutes water and land around the facility."

Unfortunately, it was on the last page of the four-page article. I don't know how many people read that far.
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yyc2yow
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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:12:52 PM

$$$$$$$
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PrinceLH
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:12:26 PM

Green is too expensive!
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HA4CNN
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:12:18 PM

That will increase the cost of already over priced solar panels.
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Aviator_Rob
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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:12:04 PM

@judgemobile, if you don't have any facts to back up your baseless claims, it's better for you to just write, "Ok."
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pa79th
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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:12:03 PM

Old news leftover from yesterday!
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regout
Champion Author Quebec

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:11:52 PM

Old green news.
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Tigercat88
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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:10:37 PM

Green is not GOOD.
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Math6149
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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:10:13 PM

Looks good to the Democrates/
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Glock26
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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:08:40 PM

Old News!!!
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cheaper0ON
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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:07:35 PM

Old news.
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judgemobile
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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:06:28 PM

Bummer does not want USA energy independent
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us4usa
Champion Author Missouri

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Message Posted: Feb 17, 2013 11:05:44 PM

I'm all for Solar on every roof top... Solar panels for homes have been around 30 or 40 years now??? But why the prices never come down so home owners can afford them is beyond me...
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