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The solar panel’s dark side

Tens of millions of off-grid solar systems are being sold in developing countries each year, and the market is expected to grow exponentially with predictions suggesting 740 million people will benefit by 2022.

While delivering clean electricity to the world’s poorest solves one problem, it creates another – an epidemic of toxic e-waste pollution. Why should we take it seriously?

One of the most promising and rapidly growing off-grid solar technologies is pay-as-you-go solar home systems, which provides both light and electricity to run a number of low power appliances such as phones, radios and TVs.

The system contains solar panels, lithium-ion batteries, electric wires and printed circuit boards. If not managed properly, each one of these components poses health risks.

Read more: Chathamhouse

 


 

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