Polution from "clean" energy

Washington Post:

The first time Li Gengxuan saw the dump trucks from the nearby factory pull into his village, he couldn't believe what happened. Stopping between the cornfields and the primary school playground, the workers dumped buckets of bubbling white liquid onto the ground. Then they turned around and drove right back through the gates of their compound without a word.

This ritual has been going on almost every day for nine months, Li and other villagers said.

In China, a country buckling with the breakneck pace of its industrial growth, such stories of environmental pollution are not uncommon. But the Luoyang Zhonggui High-Technology Co., here in the central plains of Henan Province near the Yellow River, stands out for one reason: It's a green energy company, producing polysilicon destined for solar energy panels sold around the world. But the byproduct of polysilicon production -- silicon tetrachloride -- is a highly toxic substance that poses environmental hazards.

...

Creating energy is a messy business whether you are burning wood or making solar cells. Enemies of energy production have made some of the most efficient methods, such as oil and gas, more expensive by restricting supply hoping to push people to things like solar which may be even dirtier in some ways. Silicon Valley companies are working on processes for creating the cells that are not as messy and will be cheaper. I am sure the Chinese will be eager to copy them.

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