About the book
In order to meet the inevitably growing energy needs and compete effectively with conventional energy resources and hence reduce greenhouse gas emissions, photovoltaic (PV) solar energy is considered a form of renewable, sustainable, and clean energy resource. Due to the rapid development and reduced costs, the last few years have seen tremendous increase in solar panel installations. With new policies, financial incentives, and competitive tenders, global installations are expected to continue its growth. Developing new solar cell materials and panel constructions and understanding and preventing degradation and failure mechanisms in current technologies are essential for improved efficiency, performance, and service lifetime of solar panels. While solar power is expected to be the world’s largest source of electricity in the future there also has been growing concern over the environmental impact of solar panels. Toxic chemicals used or created during manufacturing processes of solar panels and solar waste discarded at the end of life have risen a critical question in recent years: how green are these solar panels? The issue of large amount of disposal and recycling of solar panels are expected to be the major downside of this technology in the near future. While trying to compete with fuel-based traditional energy resources to reduce ecological pollution and global warming emissions, the potential environmental impacts associated with solar panels should be mitigated by taking sustainability measures and raising public awareness. This book will discuss the tradeoff between environmental benefits and downsides of solar panels.