Making solar panels requires mining large amounts of minerals, so is it really green?

solar panel

In fact, there have been doubts about the large-scale mining of minerals and green energy for a long time. In 2014, it was reported that solar panels would produce harmful substances during the production process, and the number of discarded solar panels was far greater than that of recycled solar panels. The report also mentioned that the cost of recycling solar panels will increase the cost of solar panels by 3-4 times. In response to these situations in the report, let’s talk about whether green energy is green.


1. It is the exploitation of fossil energy. This is hardly a problem, because the source of traditional fossil fuels also comes from the exploitation of fossil fuels, and they are used in large quantities for combustion to generate electricity and are difficult to recover. As for new energy sources, such as solar energy, wind energy, etc., the minerals mined to produce them are often used to manufacture corresponding equipment, and their recycling is relatively easy and the recycling rate is higher.

2. Harmful substances will be produced during the production of solar panels, but the burning of fossil fuels will also produce a large amount of harmful substances. Even after treatment, many harmful gases and greenhouse gases will enter the atmosphere. The production of solar panels will only produce a small amount of harmful substances, and most of them can be eliminated through recycling, depending on whether the factory meets the specifications.

3. Recycling rate and recycling cost. The issue of recycling rate depends on whether the government and enterprises have corresponding publicity and policies. At the same time, another important reason that affects the recycling rate is the recycling cost, which mainly depends on the development of technology. You can be assured of this. As technology matures and advances, the cost of recycling will inevitably decrease. This can also be seen from the production cost of solar panels: Some data show that between 2009 and 2017, the production cost of solar panels dropped by 76%. Therefore, there is reason to believe that with the popularization of green energy and the establishment of relevant government and enterprise systems, the recycling rate of solar panels will be higher in the future.

To sum up, the consumables required for manufacturing green energy such as solar panels consume less resources than the direct combustion of traditional fossil energy and have a high recyclability rate. Therefore, manufacturing solar panels is "green".


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