‘Clean Energy’, ‘Renewables’, ‘Alternative Energy’……….We can save the Planet! Well, can we do so without savaging the Planet and harming our health? Before we even attempt to create technologies to provide such solutions, we need to lay out the evidence which proves no harm.
The Quartz Group in the US, North Carolina, has been mining quartz since 1914.
They tell us:
The monocrystalline solar market is currently booming, and overtook multicrystalline technology in terms of market share in 2019. As a key supplier of high purity quartz to the solar market for crucibles and glassware, the QUARTZ Corp is dedicated to understanding this complex, dynamic market, and moving quickly to serve our customers’ needs.
To prove no harm we can look at research over the past centuries since mines became industrialized and created dusty conditions for workers.
It is a familiar story about silicosis. I have discussed it in many of my blogs. When humans suffer we get more interested than when wildlife suffers. By the time humans suffer, many other living things have died prematurely due to the harm done. Eventually humans die prematurely, and often compensation cases take so long the victims have died before payments arrive to assist their ailing bodies.
Some examples were reported in the media for N Carolina, such as in 2015 here. Trout were no longer surviving in the North River Toe since the local quartz mine facility was allowed a permit to extend its operations.
Once such harm is recorded it is already too late for all wildlife and humans to look forward to a healthy life in such an environment.
Geologists do not list common quartz as a deadly mineral. Indeed, there is such a demand for modern silica applications, that mines are increasing their capacity making big profits. Some details are found here.
The greater the demand, the more we mine. The more we mine, the more we destroy the environment. Destroyed environments shorten the existence of us all.
But the world now consumes nearly half a million metric tons of solar-grade polysilicon a year, making it a multi-billion-dollar industry.