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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 How can the U.S. solar industry survive sustainably? The Solar Industry: Growing Market, Rising Costs Sustainability Economy Sustainable Energy What Needs To Be Done? Manufacturing Contrary to popular belief, solar panel installation is an open market for jobs and other economic growth The energy payoff after PV installation is < 5 years (Pearce) A multitude of materials go into the manufacturing of PV panels, including: Crystalline Silicon (c-Si) Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) Copper Indium Selenide CIS Gallium Arsenide (GaAs)(Mulvaney) Environmental Impact Rooftop solar doesn't directly damage pristine land since it is not working at an industrial level (Gelbaum) Under lax regulation, PV panel production results in negative externalities with chemicals that can be harmful to human health. There have already been protests in China concerning chemical exposure in 2011 (Mulvaney). ASPHYXIANT FLAMMABLE NH3 NH3 CORROSIVE LONG-TERM EFFECTS CdTe CdTe CNTs CNTs CIS CIS C2F6 C2F6 Cr VI Cr VI SeO2 SeO2 CdSO4 CdSO4 As As HF HF SiH4 SiH4 In In H2S H2S H2 H2 B2H6 B2H6 No known pollutants are produced through the use of rooftop panels Lead Lead CH4N2S CH4N2S Cd Cd PBDEs PBDEs Si Si This year has seen the construction of the largest solar plant in the country. However, it can be argued that domestic panels have less environmental impact and more immediate benefits to residents. Solar panel installation is extremely labor-intensive and requires teams of installers; the bigger the industry is, the more workers it employs for installment (Pearce). Utilizing solar power SAVES MONEY; corporate firms have been increasingly installing solar panels by megawatt production on facilities to curb long-term costs U.S. Market vs. Chinese Market Despite the growth of the industry,the US government's confidence in PV production has dwindled since the market failure of the Bay Area solar company Solyndra and its subsequent acts of pollution, and regulations are being pushed by organizations such as the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. The Chinese Solar Market Government subsidizes 7 cents per kilowatt hour (Bloomerg) China is in the lead for solar panel production in terms of total megawatts due to high output China has lax production regulations regarding dumping toxic materials For the fact that an unregulated economy such as China's lead's the world in solar panel production, the growing U.S. solar panel market is at risk of failing or becoming increasingly unsustainable. Areas such as Silicon Valley are monitored by coalitions due to their growing amounts of e-waste and its impact on the world, and solar panel production would increasingly follow suit if it would go down the same road as Solyndra.Following Solyndra's failure, the federal government is losing confidence in the solar market. Here's what it could do to make it more competitive while keeping its production clean: Invest more in solar power! Solar energy pays off in the long run and will benefit businesses and residents with less costs Impose stricter tariffs on less-regulated solar products The U.S. already has tariffs in place, but Chinese products still dominate the market Nathan Serafin, Society and EnvironmentAOC: Environmental Philosophy and Ethics Apply a more structured disposal protocol that's transparent. The way that Solyndra failed the environment AFTER failing the market was its method of disposal for unused equipment (or lack of). Gelbaum/Mulvaney/Pearce/Bloomberg/SEIA (SEIA)
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