Toxic consequences of solar power, enduring effects of ancient landslides and more in this week's news
Solar power’s leaden footprint
Plans by China and India to green their electricity generation could leave a very toxic footprint, a new study finds. U.S. researchers identified emissions rates for lead associated with mining, its use in batteries and battery recycling in China and other developing nations. Then the scientists applied those figures to the battery loads needed as energy storage to support the photovoltaic power goals of 1.6 gigawatts for China and 12 gigawatts for India within a decade. Achieving these targets would likely end up releasing almost 2,500 kilotons of lead into the nations’ environments, the researchers report in the September Energy Policy. —Janet Raloff
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.