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Solar Company Scorecard underscores need for greener solar production

Posted: April 6, 2010 1:12 p.m.
Updated: April 6, 2010 2:21 p.m.
 
The 2010 Solar Company Scorecard (solarscorecard.com) released by the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) in March underscores the need for greener production methods in the manufacture of solar modules, says Dr. David Lee, CEO of BioSolar, Inc., a Valencia, Calif.-based developer of a breakthrough technology to produce bio-based materials from renewable plant sources that reduce the cost of photovoltaic solar modules.

"This new survey confirms that the industry is lagging in ensuring that the manufacturing and disposal of solar energy products is as environmentally-friendly as the renewable energy they produce," Lee said. "The upstream process of manufacturing solar panels remains predominately petroleum-dependent and involves a surprising number of toxic chemicals. We must get serious about life-cycles of all the materials that go into PV panels -- from mining to manufacturing to recycling to disposal.

"The majority of protective backsheets in today's solar modules are made of polyvinyl fluoride. It is solvent cast in Dimethylacetamide, a hazardous chemical, and it releases hydrogen fluoride, another hazardous chemical when overheated. These toxic components are extremely hard to recycle and must be buried in the ground," Lee said. "Our proprietary bio-based backsheets are petroleum-free and non-toxic. They match or exceed the performance of their conventional counterparts and can be recycled or biodegraded in landfills."

Hailed as a "PV innovation on the leading edge for 2010" by Renewable Energy Focus (renewableenergyfocus.com/view/5234/solar-pv-innovation-the-new-buzz-), BioSolar was the first company to introduce a new dimension of cost reduction by replacing petroleum-based plastic solar cell components with durable bio-based materials.

"Currently, the majority of the solar industry is focused on photovoltaic efficiency to reduce cost," Lee said. "We look forward to working with solar manufacturers to demonstrate that a durable backsheet can be produced from sustainable and renewable resources at a lower cost -- a boost to bottom lines as well as the environment."

About BioSolar, Inc.
BioSolar, Inc. has developed a breakthrough technology to produce bio-based materials from renewable plant sources that will reduce the cost per watt of solar cells. Most of the solar industry is focused on photovoltaic efficiency to reduce cost. BioSolar is the first company to introduce a new dimension of cost reduction by replacing petroleum-based plastic solar cell components with durable bio-based materials.

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