SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
News: India stares at pile of solar e-waste.
Source: The Hindu
Solar modules use potentially hazardous materials, including lead compounds, polymers and cadmium compounds. If disposed of in an inappropriate way, potential leaching of those hazardous materials can have negative environmental and health impacts.
For instance, leaching of lead has huge environmental impact including loss in biodiversity, decreased growth and reproductive rates in plants and animals, and several other health hazards like adverse impact on kidney function, nervous, immune, reproductive and cardiovascular systems.
India’s PV (photovoltaic) waste volume is estimated to grow to 200,000 tonnes by 2030 and around 1.8 million tonnes by 2050,” said the study by Bridge To India (BTI), an energy consultancy firm.
India is among the leading markets for solar cells in the world, buoyed by the government’s commitment to install 100 GW of solar power by 2022. So far, India has installed solar cells for about 28 GW and this is largely from imported solar PV cells.
Solar cell modules are made by processing sand to make silicon, casting silicon ingots, using wafers to create cells and then assembling them to make modules.
India’s domestic manufacturers are largely involved in assembling cells and modules.,p>These modules are 80% glass and aluminium, and non-hazardous. Other materials used, including polymers, metals, metallic compounds and alloys, and are classified as potentially hazardous, says the study.
While the solar sector continues to grow robustly, there will be a need of clarity in solar waste management.