Do solar panels harm wildlife?
Switching to solar energy is supposed to be helpful to the environment, right? So what’s really going on with residential and commercial solar, do solar panels actually harm wildlife?
Rest assured, you residential solar system is not going to hurt the environment.
Residential solar panels do not harm wildlife when installed properly. Some large-scale solar plants have caused disruptions in the surrounding ecosystems because of the heat produced by the panels, the increased fire risk, and in some cases the water usage. More testing still needs to be done in order to determine the full long-term effect that these plants might have on wildlife.
How can commercial solar plants potentially harm wildlife?
One of the most obvious reasons these plants can cause harm to wildlife is simply due to the fact that in order to create the space to build the plant, some of the ecosystem will be cleared—leaving the resident animals to find a new place to live.
Other factors that could be possibly damaging to the wildlife are noise and light pollution, fire risk, and water consumption. (pollutant spills, electromagnetic field energy field flows)
However, compared to nuclear plants which produce radioactive waste, these potential impacts seem pretty manageable!
Do my residential panels harm wildlife?
Residential solar does not pose any major threat to wildlife. If you live in an area where there are small animals around your house including birds, squirrels, raccoons etc., and depending on the design of your system, it’s possible that these critters might try to burrow under your panels. However, this probably poses more of a problem for you than it does the critters!
You will likely have an option when installing your solar system to have a “critter guard” installed to make sure that no small animals try to help themselves to your panels as their new home. This will keep them safe from getting stuck etc., and it will help to keep the wiring of your system intact and your panels clean for longer!
Is the disposal of solar panels bad for the environment?
We are making leaps and bounds every year with how we recycle the materials (aluminum, silicon, copper.) It’s not a perfect system yet! But considering your panels will be on your roof for the next 30-50 years, it’s highly probable that by the time your panels are ready to be disposed of we’ll have a much more efficient system to recycle them.