Industry representatives back solar panels in wake of toxic claim

2018/11/05 23:15:09 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Lee Chun-li (李君禮, right), deputy head of the Ministry of Economic Affairs's Bureau of Energy, Kuo Hsuan-fu (郭軒甫, second right), head of the PV Generation System Association of R.O.C. (PVGSA) and Chen Kun-hung (陳坤宏, second left), a Taiwan Photovoltaic Industry Association official

Lee Chun-li (李君禮, right), deputy head of the Ministry of Economic Affairs's Bureau of Energy, Kuo Hsuan-fu (郭軒甫, second right), head of the PV Generation System Association of R.O.C. (PVGSA) and Chen Kun-hung (陳坤宏, second left), a Taiwan Photovoltaic Industry Association official

Taipei, Nov. 5 (CNA) Representatives of the solar power panel industry defended their products on Monday against claims made by a nuclear power advocate a day earlier, saying the use of solar panels was not toxic for the environment.

At a televised forum on Sunday discussing an upcoming referendum on nuclear power, nuclear power supporter Liao Yen-peng (廖彥朋) said installing solar power panels over reservoirs could be risky because of the toxicity of the panels' coatings.

Lee Chun-li (李君禮), deputy head of the Ministry of Economic Affairs's Bureau of Energy, responded at a press conference on Monday that Liao's statement was inaccurate and could hurt both the installation of solar panels domestically and the export-oriented industry.

Kuo Hsuan-fu (郭軒甫), head of the PV Generation System Association of R.O.C. (PVGSA), said solar panel floats are made of high-density polyethylene that withstands temperatures of up to 100 degrees Celsius and does not release organic solvents at room temperature.

About 480 gigawatts of solar panels have been installed in over 200 countries around the world, and no toxic-related incidents have been reported, Kuo said.

Chen Kun-hung (陳坤宏), a Taiwan Photovoltaic Industry Association official, said Taiwan is the second largest producer of solar cells in the world, and exports to markets such as Europe, Japan, the United States, and China.

These Taiwanese businesses have also set up production facilities in Germany, the U.S., and Japan, and their production processes and products meet the high environmental safety standards of those markets, Chen said.

Speaking of environmental concerns when using cleaning agents, Kuo said cleaning agents do not have to be used as the angles at which solar panels are set enables rain to wash away dust and bird feces.

Only a high-pressure water spray is needed to clean the panels when it has not rained for a long period of time.

At the same time, many solar panel installations co-exist with agricultural and fishery farming spaces, and cleaning agents are therefore not used, Kuo said.

(By Liao Yu-yang, Wu Hsin-yun and William Yen)
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