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As the world heats up, solar panels will degrade faster – especially in hot, humid areas. What can we do?

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Conversation or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: As global temperatures rise, solar panels, particularly in hot, humid regions like northern Australia, are at risk of degrading faster, which could increase the cost of solar energy and impact the efficiency of solar power generation

🔭 The context: Solar panels are designed to withstand environmental conditions, but they degrade over time due to factors like humidity, UV radiation, and temperature
New research indicates that climate change will exacerbate this degradation, particularly in Australia's north, affecting the country's renewable energy targets

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Accelerated degradation of solar panels due to climate change could lead to increased energy costs and more frequent replacement of panels
• This challenges the transition to renewable energy and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

⏭️ What's next: The study suggests the need for solar developers to consider climate change in their planning and for innovations in cooling technologies, materials, and manufacturing processes to mitigate degradation and ensure the longevity and efficiency of solar panels

💬 One quote: "As the world heats up, it will go from annoyance to very real problem." (Shukla Poddar, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UNSW Sydney)

📈 One stat: Under a high emissions scenario, solar energy output could decrease by 8.5% by 2059 due to degradation, potentially increasing energy costs by 10-12%

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