2014/11/14: As the world seeks cleaner power, solar energy capacity has increased sixfold in the past five years. Yet manufacturing all those solar panels, a Tuesday report shows, can have environmental downsides.
Ben Santarris, strategic affairs director for SolarWorld, said his company has made efforts to recycle panels, but the volume isn't there yet. "We have product that's still performing to standard from 1978, so we don't have a big stream," he said. "It is a problem, because on one hand there is an interest in getting ahead of a swelling stream of returning panels. On the other hand, there's not a big market for it right now."
Recycling is particularly important because of the materials used to make panels, said Dustin Mulvaney, an assistant professor of environmental studies at San José State University who serves as a scientific adviser to SVTC. "It would be difficult to find a PV module that does not use at least one rare or precious metal," he said, "because they all have at least silver, tellurium, or indium."
Because recycling is limited, Mulvaney said, those recoverable metals could go to waste: "Companies that are reporting on a quarterly basis, surviving on razor-thin margins—they're not thinking 20, 30 years down the road, where the scarcity issue might actually enter the conversation."
Researchers are sounding the alarm after an analysis showed that buying a new smartphone consumes as much energy as using an existing phone for an entire decade.
La parabola del produttore Usa che doveva spezzare il monopolio della Cina: dai rally in Borsa al rischio bancarotta nel giro di cinque anni. Perch239191189 i prezzi delle terre rare, i metalli dell'hi-tech, oggi non fanno pi239191189 paura
Hidden in an unknown corner of China is a toxic, nightmarish lake created by our thirst for smartphones, gadgets and green tech, discovers Tim Maughan.
E' necessario fin da ora riciclare elementi come cromo, tungsteno e tantalio dagli oggetti che vengono gettati via. Un'operazione spesso difficile di
Does the recent climate accord between US and China mean that many countries will now forge ahead with renewables and other green solutions? I think that there are more pitfalls than many realize. Pitfall 1. Green solutions tend to push us from one set of resources that are a problem today (fossil fuels) to other
Ricordate le terre rare? Sono 17 elementi chimicamente simili che fanno parte della tavola periodica, più l'ittrio e lo scandio. Nonostante il loro nome, non sono rare; ma ci vogliono discreti sforzi e investimenti per estrarle, raffinarle e lavorarle. Sta di fatto che sono necessarie alla costruzione di una sfilza di prodotti hi-tech: dagli smartphone
The rare earths inside microcomputers make our lives easier. But just how toxic are the guts of your smartphone?
Editor's Notes: John C. Zolper, Ph.D. is the Vice President of Research and Development at Raytheon, an American corporation with core manufacturing concentrations in weapons and military and commercial electronics. So yeah, neat stuff. I've got a riddle for you. What do Blu-ray disks, military
The manufacture of technology, along with its essential raw materials, is now concentrated in a single region. This lack of resilience leaves the industry dangerously vulnerable to disruption.