I just spent a few days at the Solar Power International Conference in LA. And as the industry grows, so does this conference. Solar Companies from around the world were there to umm… shine (I couldn’t help it).
As I went from booth to booth, speaking to solar companies about participating in our upcoming survey to produce our 2011 Scorecard, I noticed how things have changed.
Last year at this conference when I would speak to people in the solar industry about taking back and recycling their panels, the response I would receive was always as if I was naïve… and I would be told something like “now don’t you know these panels last 20-25 years?” As if the whole human race would be gone by then – we wouldn’t be living in houses or something.
Now, be due to outreach by SVTC or restrictions by the EU (cadmium telluride panels must have take back and recycling policies due to their toxicity) people seem to get it.
And while this is a good start, I am truly looking forward to when our Solar Scorecard comes out next year and we can have an even better idea on where solar PV manufacturers stand on sustainability and social responsibility.
As the industry grows, the need for full life cycle thinking and protecting workers is imperative for our sake and theirs!