In 2021, over 1/2 million new solar panel projects were installed. More that 1 every 60 seconds. This is our quest for renewal energy. Our quest for acceptable social environmental behavior. Our quest to conform and fit in with social pressures of the day.
The average life of a solar panel is 25 years. Some more, some less.
Now, many older projects have to have new panels or even remove the old panels and reclaim the area/land where they have stood guard day and night looking for the rays of the sun. Either way, where do you put the old panels? What do you do with the glass, the silicon, the toxic heavy metals such as lead, selenium and cadmium?
Is this where the "Green" revolution hits the wall? Is this the environmentally friendly world we worked toward? How do we square up the toxic waste that is filling landfills and garbage dumps? Do we dare mention all the wind generator blades that have been damaged in storms or have reached the end of their life? Do we question the energy spent to manufacture these behemoths and the resources it requires to keep them operational? What now?
I ask these questions because I know in my heart that the "Green" revolution is fueled by good intentions. I learned long ago about good intentions. I gave a homeless man $20 to buy himself some food. ( He drank himself to death that night) Working in law enforcement, I turned my head to some youthful offenders and verbally warned then to behave. Later that night, these 3 young men died in a horrible fiery car crash. They were all legally intoxicated.
So, with good intentions, we merrily travel the path to another disaster. But, we did this with good intentions so that must count for something. That must make it good and acceptable ? Right?
I apologize for asking these hard questions. If you are fully invested in Climate Change, then your dilemma is worthy of answers for these experiments in energy production. If you are invested in fossil fuels, you may be on the sideline saying "I told you so!" Either way, I do not have the answers to these questions, but they are worth asking.
I have never seen someone crush up a solar panel and sprinkle it on the road or a fence line in hopes of killing the vegetation around it. I have seen many a state pour oil on dirt roads to keep down the erosion and dust. When you pour motor oil on the grass, remember that fertilizer is made from crude oil. Wait a while and you will see how mistaken you were when you poured this liquid fertilizer in a fence line in hopes of killing the grass. But, it is all done with good intentions. So that must make it right. Right?
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