Solar Waste – A Sunny Challenge!
Solar power is considered to be one of the cleanest sources of energy that doesn’t pollute the environment. However, the story is incomplete at best. Every source of energy needs proper waste management and it is no different in the case of Solar Power. While the solar power potential of India is getting better and better each day, the amount of solar waste generated by our country is also increasing. The waste generated by solar power plants are mostly solar panels and these panels consist of heavy toxic metals like lead, arsenic and cadmium. If dumped in landfills, these metals can disrupt the ecosystem and degrade the groundwater that we all consume directly or indirectly. Solar Panels have produced 2.85 lakh tonnes of waste so far and it is predicted by the International Renewable Energy Agency that the amount of solar waste can go up to 78 million tonnes by 2050. Considering that solar panels have a life cycle of 25 years, this problem is definitely going to grow.