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Green Energy Is on Fire…Literally

Green Energy Is on Fire…Literally

Concerns arise over solar panel safety due to fires. EV battery incidents continue as well.

We have been following the reports involving electric vehicle battery (EV) fires, including the news about a cargo ship that burned for a week on the North Sea while carrying thousands of cars, nearly 500 of which were reported to be EVs, into a Dutch port for salvaging.

Now, there is another iconic green energy technology that we may have to worry about: Solar panels.

The number of fires involving solar panels has soared after a boom in their use driven by energy bill rises, The Independent can reveal.

Data obtained under freedom of information rules show that there were six times the number of fires involving solar panels last year compared with 10 years ago.

The rate has increased sharply with 66 fires already recorded up until July this year compared with 63 for the whole of 2019, prompting concern from safety experts who are worried about a lack of regulation on who can install them.

The UK Independent also notes that the fire risks are increasing among the ‘first wave’ of units installed at the beginning of the green energy/climate crisis mania.

…The National Fire Chiefs Council said it was “concerned” about the possible risk to building safety, while the charity Electrical Safety First (ESF) said the rise in fires meant “further investigations are urgently required”.

Increasing solar generation is integral to the UK meeting its net zero goals. According to the trade association Solar Energy UK (SEUK), the domestic installation rate is the highest it has been in more than seven years.

However, new data from 45 of the UK’s 52 fire authorities, suggests that the first wave of solar panels installed under the government’s Feed in Tariff (FiT) subsidies introduced in 2010, are increasingly at risk of catching fire.

Great Britain is not the only country where solar panel fires have occurred. In New Jersey this summer, solar panels ignited on the rooftop at a large pharmaceutical supply warehouse.

Solar panels and an HVAC unit on the roof were on fire when firefighters were called to the McKesson Corporation warehouse on John Henry Drive in the Matrix Northeast Business Park in Robbinsville shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday, the Robbinsville Fire Department said.

Firefighters from Robbinsville and surrounding towns in Monmouth and Mercer counties brought the blaze under control in a little over an hour. The 350,000-square-foot building was not heavily damaged and none of the millions of dollars of merchandise inside was destroyed.

Smoke could be seen for miles, authorities said.

In July, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Cape Cod also had a fire associated with its solar panels. The blaze was so intense that the initial responders had to call in more units for assistance.

A fire that erupted at a church on Cape Cod on Friday originated in solar panels on the building’s roof, according to authorities.

Orleans firefighters were sent to the St. Joan of Arc Roman Catholic Church shortly after 4 p.m. Friday after a person passing by spotted flames coming from the roof of the building and called 911, according to a statement from the town’s fire department.

When they arrived, firefighters saw smoke and flames coming from the roof of the church. A fire engine and ladder truck were initially sent to the scene, but more first responders and vehicles were soon called from neighboring towns to help out. There were 38 firefighters in total at the scene, the department noted in its statement.

Returning to EVs, five cars were destroyed in a fire at Australia’s Sydney Airport after a luxury electric car’s lithium-ion battery caught alight.

The car burst into flames before the blaze spread to four other vehicles in a parking lot on Airport Drive in Mascot around 8.30pm.

A lithium-ion battery that had been detached from the luxury car and stored in the lot was the cause of the blaze, Fire and Rescue NSW determined today.

Truly…green energy is on fire. But not in a good way.

This story is from five years ago:


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I’d like to know the detrimental effect the solar panels have on atmospheric warming. Nature is green for a reason and is 100% efficient in capturing sunlight while not reflecting energy.
Solar panels are not 100% efficient so light MUST be reflected off the surface and back into the atmosphere. I think the greenies call it the Greenhouse effect.

    Gully_Foyle in reply to scooterjay. | September 24, 2023 at 11:52 am

    100% efficient? No. Plants are green because they reflect green light. In other words, they don’t use it. Visible light is absorbed and re-emitted as infrared by dark objects, such as the oceans (and solar panels). This re-emitted infrared dissipates into outer space, but some is reflected back to Earth by gases in the atmosphere and that is the cause of global warming and the greenhouse effect.

There is no reason that solar panels should not be safe. Proper wiring and circuit protection, just like all other electrical equipment, should prevent these problems.

I am not a fan of rooftop solar panels, they should be washed down twice a year, If they are going to be installed on a roof, then it should be a metal roof. Better to have them on a ground mount.

These fires are likely do to poor wiring practices.

EV problems are mostly due to salt water shorting batteries, followed by electrolysis breaking water down into hydrogen and oxygen, which is waiting to be turned back into water with a bang.

    CommoChief in reply to JohnSmith100. | September 20, 2023 at 7:57 am

    Yeah that’s my initial though as well; either an incompetent installation, use of inferior wiring or components. It could be debris on the panel, accumulation of dry leaves or pine straw that the homeowner didn’t bother to remove that caught.

      healthguyfsu in reply to CommoChief. | September 20, 2023 at 11:34 am

      That would be a VERY rare occurrence unless it accumulates next to an unshielded wire. The panels themselves are not the equivalent of a magnifying glass because they don’t focus light down to one point.

        CommoChief in reply to healthguyfsu. | September 20, 2023 at 12:09 pm

        Rare (ish). How many bad installations are out there combined with homeowners who don’t even get the dust/dirt off their panels much less leaves/straw off their roof? Heck how many folks think it’s an install and that’s it? IMO, there are plenty of lazy, ignorant of maintenance requirements or just plain dumb people in the world to allow these sorts of conditions to arise.

          healthguyfsu in reply to CommoChief. | September 20, 2023 at 1:57 pm

          The tilt angle can make them debris free if done right in combination with roof dynamics.

          The things you are describing, sans shoddy install (definitely a problem), are most likely to lower power output rather than cause a fire.

          Also, panels tend to self-clean with rain water unless you live in a dry, dusty area. Semi-annual shot of the hose up there (or more TLC with dish detergent on a hand sponge if you really want to optimize performance) is enough.

          CommoChief in reply to CommoChief. | September 20, 2023 at 5:29 pm

          Yeah that’s my point still rare (ish) but in combination dry debris, shoddy installation and inferior components are capable of causing the problem.

          Lots of solar out west. I was in El Paso for a decade and couldn’t believe how many folks never rinsed off the dirt/dust or swept the debris. After the short monsoon season rainfall is damn scarce in El Paso.

    I’ll give you a reason. They’re made in China. Anything made in China will break down, catch on fire or explode eventually. Not necessarily in that order.

    Do not these installations also involve batteries? Even the ones that sell back power to the grid?

      healthguyfsu in reply to GWB. | September 20, 2023 at 12:56 pm

      Not every installation involves a battery.

      You can install a net meter. The net meter sends excess to the grid for use elsewhere while your power needs in the home are met by the panels.

      As a safety feature, this kind of metering is tied to your electrical system and will not operate in a power outage. So, you lose that “off the grid” style if that is what you are going for.

      If you get batteries, they are extremely expensive and some of these have caught on fire. You get the “off the grid” style but you pay for it and might have to call the fire dept.

      The most common use of solar is to do about 80% of your power needs. The net meter is still needed to send to grid when you have excess and the rest is drawn from the grid when you need it.

        CommoChief in reply to healthguyfsu. | September 20, 2023 at 5:33 pm

        Yep though you can get an auto switch(s) that stops feed to the grid and then directs it into your batteries in an outage and that cuts the flow when batteries full.

      Lanceman in reply to GWB. | September 20, 2023 at 4:30 pm

      Nope. Not all of them, George W. Bush.

    The church that caught fire on Cape Cod may have had salt in the air on a regular basis.

Let’s apply the Left’s 2nd Amendment so-called logic to this situation:

Solar panels are unsafe and must be completely banned outright. This is justified if it saves just one life.

We must sue manufacturers of solar panels out of existence, as well as those who import, sell, and install them. Anyone who currently owns solar panels must pay an exorbitant tax, have liability insurance to cover damages when their solar panels burn down structures and neighborhoods and kill the children. Current owners must also file a plan with the state for the removal and safe disposal of these dangerous items within 36 months. Except for the government, of course.

These common sense measures must also apply to batteries used in solar energy installations.

Except in the hands of the government, of course.

    Milhouse in reply to Idonttweet. | September 20, 2023 at 8:18 am

    Not equivalent. If guns were this unsafe they would be banned.

    The 2nd amendment doesn’t protect shoddily manufactured guns that are likely to catch fire, or that go off by themselves, etc.

      Idonttweet in reply to Milhouse. | September 20, 2023 at 8:33 am

      Of course it’s not equivalent. I was being sarcastic.

        healthguyfsu in reply to Idonttweet. | September 20, 2023 at 11:33 am

        Of course you were, but Milhouse does effectively lay out the devil’s advocate counter argument.

        Often that is exactly what he is doing if you understand him.

      MattMusson in reply to Milhouse. | September 20, 2023 at 8:45 am

      And it is important to recognize that rooftop solar above the 38th parallel will never recover the carbon debt invested in its manufacture, transport and installation.

      With subsidies it may make financial sense. But, it does no good for the planet.

        As long as those subsidies come out of someone else’s pocket. If you’re paying taxes to provide those subsidies then it’s really a wash.

        The same goes for EVs in most places with respect to the “battery debt”. IMO the Climate Change grift is a money laundering scheme, relying on young people like Greta, those who glue themselves to the road and the poorly educated masses for support and press. Germany is learning this rather slowly and we are starting to see a change in attitude about closing nuclear power plants, decades too late.

          not_a_lawyer in reply to jb4. | September 21, 2023 at 6:21 am

          What’s up with Greta? I understand she is at an age where she could be in college.

          Did she sign up at the Physics department at Stockholm University so that she might learn something about which she is bitching, or is she running around scowling and wagging her finger while asking “How dare you?”

          There is only one hard-core environmentalists for which I have any respect. I don’t know his name, but he was (is?) the leader of Greenpeace. He was foursquare against commercial nuclear power for many years, but he took an objective look at it and finally came around to the only logical conclusion, that it is the only way to maintain an industrial electricity grid without CO2 emissions.

          I personally do not believe CO2 emissions are harmful (and yes, I have a BS in Physics), but he does, and he objectively looked at the problem under his belief system and came to the conclusion that if CO2 is bad, nuclear power is the solution.

          It must have been difficult for him, as I’m quite certain he pissed off a large fraction of Greenpeace members.


        healthguyfsu in reply to MattMusson. | September 20, 2023 at 11:31 am

        Yeah I covered this below. The fiscal sense really only applies if your state or the country goes crazy with the amount from it like they are trying to do.

        In that case, you will be able to generate solar power cheaper yourself than the utility company. That’s really the only fiscal benefit sans ludicrous incentives.

      And the pedant misses the point. Sheesh.

      Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | September 20, 2023 at 8:42 pm

      Of course when the 2nd amendment was ratified guns were this unsafe. But that was before product safety regulations and product liability laws, and before modern manufacturing standards.

      Nowadays guns are among the safest and most reliable products on the market, since the technology hasn’t changed significantly in over a century. (Which is why the newfangled tech that the gun-grabbers are trying to force on us is a disaster in waiting. It’s not properly tested, there’s no real experience with it, and it’s almost bound one day to fail someone disastrously at precisely the moment when their life depends on it working properly.)

The Gentle Grizzly | September 20, 2023 at 7:45 am

Made in China.

Bucky Barkingham | September 20, 2023 at 7:54 am

How long before insurance companies jack up rates for those with roof top solar panels or EVs?

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Bucky Barkingham. | September 20, 2023 at 8:43 am

    Insurance companies have been canceling homeowners with rooftop solar panels for some time. There is little to burn in a solar panel, it is aluminum, and mostly tempered glass. The problem has to be defective wiring or installation. The electrical connectors are plastic, rated for 1000 volts and 30 amps, waterproof. They are known as MC4 for those who want to see what they look like.

      MattMusson in reply to JohnSmith100. | September 20, 2023 at 8:48 am

      These GRID Edge solutions – rooftop solar and EVs meters that can sell electricity back to the utilities are extremely vulnerable to hacking. The potential for chaos like deliberately triggered fires is significant.

      I think the bigger danger with solar panels is someone falling off the roof while installing or maintaining them, or of them falling of the roof in a strong wind and hitting someone.

    chrisboltssr in reply to Bucky Barkingham. | September 20, 2023 at 2:05 pm

    Insurers are already starting to jack up auto insurance rates on EVs. They are notoriously more expensive to repair and need actual expertise to fix (most body techs on ICE vehicles also have auto mechanic experience so they can save on the margins; the same cannot be said about EVs).

    Wait until if you install any of these things or buy an EV, you will also have to buy an environmental policy or get that stuff excluded…

    not_a_lawyer in reply to Bucky Barkingham. | September 21, 2023 at 6:32 am

    They have started forbidding the charging of EVs in attached garages due to the fire hazard.

    They will soon start demanding a minimum distance from your house sufficiently large that unless you live on a quarter-acre or larger, you will have to park on the street and drag an electrical cord across your sidewalk to charge your EV.

    I’m not complaining about the insurer’s policies as they are based on statistics regarding the source of house fires.

Search “Enphase” followed by Biden’s CHIPS program and Sinvo Automatic Machinery.
China will control our solar production.

small communities like mine here in the southern Berkshires often have volunteer fire depts and they are not prepared for these new urban thingys

in the next town over, they had a roof top panel fire and played hell in getting it out

and the extra stress caused by STR is also becoming a problem. City folk coming into the country and starting fires

they have no concept of underbrush, leaves and wind

my guess is in 20 years the small local dumps will be filled with solar panels

just like they were 10 years ago with CRT monitors

and in my town, if the panels are not in use for a year, they must be removed

    healthguyfsu in reply to REDACTED. | September 20, 2023 at 11:28 am

    They are hazardous waste and should not be thrown in dumps. That would be fine-worthy if caught.

      they are separated out form the ordinary trash and a fee is applied to their disposal

      atm, here, a CRT cost 30 bucks to toss

        murkyv in reply to REDACTED. | September 21, 2023 at 3:48 am

        I just took an old 20 in TV to my county recycling facility yesterday

        They charge by the pound and it came to 9 bucks

        But, a CRT computer monitor of any size is free


I often see shoddy construction work. Very simple things gone horribly wrong. I can only imagine the tangled, loose, sloppy messes inside junction boxes between solar panel and breaker-utility box. Seriously. If the work looks untidy, its already a problem.

Solar panels are actually good tech now…it’s the early gens that really sucked just like any new technology. And just like anything else they are just a tool if you aren’t in a weird personality cult.

There’s also better safety protocols in place for installation and monitoring than there used to be.

That said, economically, you probably won’t save any money with them unless you are in a state that has a crazy mandate to push solar beyond its optimal capability.

In that case, solar can save you money because the power companies that have to switch to that energy tech are going to charge you more than if you owned it yourself.

Those churches should be protected by arc angels.

    henrybowman in reply to E Howard Hunt. | September 21, 2023 at 6:05 am

    “St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Cape Cod also had a fire associated with its solar panels.”

    I saw at least two obvious jokes in that line right away. You found a third.

StillNeedToDrainTheSwamp | September 20, 2023 at 11:35 am

I’m as conservative as they as they come, and definitely not a “greeney” or “environmental warrior”. But I am in San Diego County where I believe Leslie lives, and I am thankful for my solar panels on my newly constructed house in 2020 that have already recovered the entire after tax cost given our electric rates (highest in the nation). Properly installed, solar panels are very safe.

    I don’t blame you. And you’re welcome to my contributions to your subsidies via my taxes.

    Yep. In some locations point of use solar makes sense; CA, FL the other Sunbelt States. Not so much in MI.

    What we should all oppose is commercial grid level solar farms created to send electricity out of the local area. That’s gonna require huge amounts of new transmission lines and easements. It’s complete BS to seek an easement much less attempt eminent domain to support any project where the benefits are not confined to the local area and those local residents.

    Unfortunately this is already being pushed with Jamie Diamond of JP Morgan proposing some sort of consortium of State/local govt to use eminent domain to create pathways for transmission lines across the Nation. Eff that.

Only in the West can the notion of installing products that generate and store excessive heat on known flammable surfaces could garner such widespread support.

So all of the CO2 emissions those solar panels saved is now doubled back into the atmosphere with their burning?

What is the word for super irony?

Nothing new about Solar Panel Fires, and not only those from Chinese companies:

“On Tuesday, August 20th [2022], Walmart stunned observers when it filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Tesla. In documents it filed with the court, Walmart claims that Tesla’s “negligent installation and maintenance” of solar panels caused fires on not one or two, but seven of its roofs since 2012. They are now asking Tesla to remove their panels from more than 240 Walmart stores, and are claiming losses of millions of dollars.”