The 2010 Solar Company Scorecard that ranks solar photovoltaic module manufactures based on various factors such as sustainability, social justice, rights of workers, and environmental health and safety was released by the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC). The data was provided by the responding companies and the scorecard will be useful for consumers, investors and institutional purchases to make informed decisions.
Executive Director of SVTC, Sheila Davis, said to address the challenges of climate change, solar power is vital. But some serious issues have to be addressed by the solar industry before it can be viewed as green and clean industry, Davis said.
Fourteen companies responded to the survey representing 24% of module market share in 2008 and 31% of the cumulative market share. Calyxo, SolarWorld, and Sovello, based in Germany, scored 90, 88 and 73 respectively, and were ranked as top three companies. First Solar and Abound, the two U.S. based responding companies, scored 67 and 63.
The report also revealed that 57% of the responding companies will support legislation for compulsory takeback and recycling programs in the regions where their solar panels are sold. About 42.8% of manufacturers are appropriating money to finance the process for disposing end-of-life solar panels and 50% of the companies said that they offer free recycling services.
SVTC is demanding for compulsory takeback and recycling of solar panels by solar companies as a step forward to cut down the industry’s impact on the environment. The solar industry should ensure that the pollutants from the panels do not enter into the environment. This can be done only by solar manufacturers by removing toxic chemicals from their solar panels.