Clients frequently ask about installing solar panels on their homes. Saving on energy costs while reducing CO2 emissions is consider a win-win, but when homeowners realize photovoltaic (PV) panels contain lead, that can complicate the equation.

According to a Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy study conducted in Germany, silicon (c-Si) wafer-based solar panel modules, which represent over 90% of the market share, contain lead in the cell metallization (2 grams of lead per 60-cell module, a typical PV panel size) and for soldering the cells (10 grams of lead).

This lead level is concerning to some in the construction and design industry, but the solar industry is changing for the better. The International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaic ( states in its 2018 roadmap report, the solar industry is transitioning away from lead usage and is projected to be completely lead free by 2030.

Currently, only 15% of PV panels are lead-free. Before installing PV panels on your home, consider panels that are lead-free like Mitsubishi Electric’s Diamond solar modules, as it has lead-free soldering, or modules with DuPont’s Solamet silver metallization paste, which is a next-generation lead-free paste.