Ban On Solar Power Plants! Are Solar Panels Toxic? Wind Turbines On Killing Birds

According to USA TODAY, a quarter of US counties have stopped developing new utility-scale solar and wind projects. Does that mean – Are solar panels toxic? This makes the development of green energy challenging. By 2035, the US wants to run entirely on sustainable energy, but development is not moving quickly enough. Expanding solar and wind farms, as well as moving to new areas, are necessary for the switch to green energy. The US’s energy output is expected to depend on 12% and 7%, respectively of wind and solar power.

Green power projects may encounter local impediments, including bans or moratoriums. As a result of zoning disputes and community resistance. The growing and costly resistance to renewable energy projects may hamper decarbonization. Locals frequently use proposed projects to defend their towns and way of life from danger. Madison County, Ohio, has banned all large-scale solar and wind projects. Hence, the US may not be able to transition away from energy that produces greenhouse gases.

Are Solar Panels Toxic?

Solar panels are a feasible substitute for fossil fuels. Answering the question “Are solar panels toxic or not,” these pose health risks due to the toxic chemicals they release.

Solar panels last 30 to 35 years, while turbines last roughly 30 years. Nevertheless, compared to household, coal ash, and plastic garbage, the waste generated by these devices is not that grand. But the Nature Physics paper has made predictions for the future. It forecasts that by 2050, 70 and 45 billion metric tons of municipal garbage and coal ash will be produced. Also, 12 billion metric tons of plastic waste will be generated. In contrast, global production of solar panels is projected to reach 160 million metric tons. Companies must post bonds for decommissioning at the end of their lifespans according to the majority of solar zoning rules.

Solar panels are usually made with glass, silicon, and aluminum. It contains trace elements like cadmium and copper added for better conductivity. Today’s photovoltaic cells do not have evidence of containing substances like arsenic or germanium. The question of whether toxic materials can leach out of solar panels in the rain remains unresolved. Research in 2017 found that it is possible to release trace amounts of cadmium in a solar panel. Concerns have been raised regarding the leaching of cadmium telluride, potential hurricane damage, decommissioning, and landfill acceptance of solar panels.

Wind Turbines On Killing Birds

Animal ecologists developed a method to understand the increasing threat to bird populations, particularly wind and solar energy facilities. One unforeseen result of the growth of renewable energy is the death of birds. Identifying the geographic origin of affected birds was crucial for mitigating this problem. Van Zanden and colleagues used geospatial analyses of stable hydrogen isotope data from feathers of birds found dead at facilities in California. The study found that most birds killed at solar facilities were nonlocal and peaked during migratory periods. At 51%, the proportion of migratory birds seen at wind facilities was almost identical to that of local species.

Wind power poses a significant threat to specific bird species, particularly birds of prey. They are at a higher risk of collisions due to their tendency to use ridgetops for wind lifts. To reduce bird and bat deaths from wind power, strategies can be undertaken. Turning off wind turbines at low speeds and avoiding placing wind farms in high-risk areas for birds are good steps to ensure their safety. Also, using GPS to understand migratory species’ flying patterns for optimal turbine heights and alerting wind farm generators.

Wind turbines can indeed kill bats and birds. However, their impact on bird counts is less significant than other sources like buildings and outdoor cats. Wind farms had no statistically significant impact on bird counts, according to research. However, fracking does. It decreased the overall number of birds seen in the vicinity of oil and shale extraction sites by 15%. Climate change is also a primary concern. The National Audubon Society estimated that most North American birds are at risk of extinction due to habitat changes.

Harnessing renewable energy through wind turbines or solar energy would help halt global warming. It could increase the United States’s energy independence. However, as some view it as an environmental hazard, currently renewable energy bans are surfacing in the US. We have yet to see how things will turn out for the country’s long-term plans of implementing sustainable energy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top