Solar Panels Increased Emissions Of A Gas 17,200 Times More Potent Than CO2

New federal data shows a potent greenhouse gas — that’s also a byproduct of solar panel construction — is on the rise.

Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) is a key chemical agent used to manufacture photovoltaic cells for solar panels, suggesting government subsidies and tax credits for solar panels may be a driving factor behind the 1,057 percent in NF3 over the last 25 years. In comparison, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions only rose by about 5 percent during the same time period.

NF3 emissions have rapidly increased in Asia as well due to its rapidly growing solar panel market, and researchers think that many nations are under-reporting their NF3 emissions by roughly a factor of 4.5.

NF3 emissions are 17,200 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas over a 100 year time period.

“By itself, NF3 is not going to create a climate problem,” Dr. Michael Prather, an earth science professor at the University of California, Irvine who tracks NF3 emissions, told Seeker. “But everything adds up. Everybody should be paying attention to the pieces that all add up.”

Solar panels aren’t the only source of NF3, which is also used to produce semiconductors and LCD flat screens.

The 1,057 percent increase in US annual emissions of NF3 from 1990 to 2015 compares to an increase of 5.6 percent in carbon dioxide emissions, according to EPA data in a recently-published draft of a new report

Other research, which did not consider NF3, looked at 40 years of CO2 emissions from solar panels, including those caused by their production, then subtracted that by the amount of CO2 they prevented from being emitted. They found many older solar panels would take a decade to lead to a net emissions reduction, which can be longer than their lifespan. They also concluded that the current generations of panels will probably only just reduce net emissions over years.

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Comments (3)

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    G

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    If we are to believe the eco-left, CO2 is a “dirty” toxic contaminant, and not so much a natural and important component of our earth’s atmosphere. Apparently NF3 by comparison is just fine.

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    Solar panel gas NF3are not only 17,200 times more potent than CO2 tax payers are subsidizing solar panel company’s to produce there product and then pay a utility bill premium .
    Now when did the solar panel companies and the EPA know they were making and releasing this chemical greenhouse gas cocktail ? Why didn’t they advise the public that they paid companies reliant on tax payer handouts to increase greenhouse gases ?
    Utility customers and taxpayers should demand a refund .

  • Avatar

    Sonnyhill

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    Nothing new here, really. Government waste and incompetence. I prefer a warmer world to a cold one. Flora and fauna do too.

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