Environmental Impact of Solar Cells:
Solar Cells and Solar Power are the same but what do they do?
The solar energy we can harness comes from the sun, it is a huge resource in which creates electricity that is sustainable as well as clean. It does this without causing emissions that lead to global warming or creating pollution that is toxic. Solar cells have both positive and negative aspects that are associated with it. Some of the potential environmental impacts that are linked with the use of solar power can include but are not limited to the following of habitat loss and use of land, use of water and the use of materials that are hazardous when it comes to manufacturing. These aspects all vary depending what type of technology is used as well as how much is used.
There are two different systems, one is CSP which is concentrating solar thermal plants and there is PV which is photovoltaic. When it comes to land use, there is a large amount of acres needed in order to properly set up and maintain power and unlike wind power; the space cannot be shared with agriculture; so initially there will be a loss of a habitat. And as for the use of water, when it comes to solar cells, water is only meant to cool everything down; in fact for every hour there is about six hundred to six hundred and fifty gallons of water used just to keep everything cool.
As for the hazardous materials it depends on a lot of different features; such as the type of cell, the size of it, what is needed to clean it as well as other factors. The average chemicals that are deemed as hazardous in these situations are chemicals that are found in the industry of semiconductors. These chemicals include but are not limited to the following of sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, acetone, hydrogen fluoride and more. A situation occurring where something that happens in which involves these chemicals is rare because there are hundreds of precautions that are already taken into place. For example, the materials not thrown away, instead they are recycled so that there will not be health threats that are made public or any other environmental issue that is serious to happen. And when it comes to emissions from global warming, you can still get insanely small ones from the solar cells but they are not as bad as the real deal.