Labor, Land, and Waste Across the Life Cycle of Solar Power

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(41:14 + Q&A) - photovoltaics, solar energy, supply chains, cradle-to-grave, recycling, transmission access, life-cycle analysis - Prof. Dustin Mulvaney, San  Jose State University.  Summary: Solar power is fast becoming a major source of electricity around the world. As deployment rises to terawatts levels, these industries will drive demand for specific materials, natural resources, labor, and lands with solar energy resources, reconfiguring socio-ecologic relations.
Global change from the development of solar power commodity chains includes increased demand for minerals and metals such as quartz, copper, bauxite, cassiterite, and silver, new places for metallurgy and smelting, shifting workforce flows, occupational safety challenges from extractive industries to semiconductor manufacturing fabs, increased emissions and effluents from specialty chemical industries, conservation and agricultural land use change, and questions around the safe and responsible disposal at the of end-of-life. This talk identifies critical research areas that need attention along solar power commodity chains based on socio-ecological arrangements produced by the global solar energy industries over the past decade.
Bio: Dustin Mulvaney is a Professor in the Environmental Studies Department at San José State University (SJSU) and a Fellow with the Payne Institute for Public Policy at the Colorado School of Mines. His research includes work on just transitions, solar energy commodity chains, and natural resource development. Dr. Mulvaney’s book Solar Power: Innovation, Sustainability, Environmental Justice was published by the University California Press (2019). He also wrote a textbook Sustainable Energy Transition: Socio-Ecological Dimensions of Decarbonization with Palgave-MacMillan (2020). Dustin has conducted extensive work on photovoltaic sustainability, chemical stewardship, and recycling management including the development of the e-stewards recycling standard for photovoltaics with the Basel Action Network and as a member of the Joint Committee for a sustainability leadership standard for photovoltaics at the National Standards Foundation International. Prior to SJSU he was a National Science Foundation Science & Technology Studies Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. Dustin received his Ph.D. from the Environmental Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and obtained an M.S. in Environmental Policy Studies and B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Applied Physics from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

To access all the videos and slides for the Silicon Valley Sustainability Chapter, please visit https://r6.ieee.org/scv-eps

(41:14 + Q&A) - photovoltaics, solar energy, supply chains, cradle-to-grave, recycling, transmission access, life-cycle analysis - Prof. Dustin Mulvaney, San  Jose State University.  Summary: Solar power is fast becoming a major source of electricity around the world. As deployment rises to terawatts levels, these industries will drive demand for specific materials, natural resources, labor, and lands with solar energy resources, reconfiguring socio-ecologic relations...

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