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I'm probably much less well-informed than you, but I can't understand the arguments about the disposal of the panels at the end of their life. I throw away a wheelie-bin worth of trash every single week, that's 1040 wheelie bins over a 20-year panel lifetime, yet those panels are probably equivalent to about two wheelie bins. It's a microscopic volume. What is in solar panels that is such a disaster compared to household trash? In 20 years I also expect to go through ten phones and five computers (although admittedly I'd chuck them into the local electronics recycling bin).

Heavy metals in thin film, mostly. Cadmium isn't great. They can be highly recycled though. Nevertheless, if a storm destroys a bunch of panels lots of cadmium will be dispersed

Cadmium telluride is not the prefered technology for solar cells. Silicon is still the major player, and it is free of any pollutants. I checked the wikipedia page for "solar cell". Given these informations, any consumer or technologist can adopt solar without compromising on pollutants.

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