By definition, renewable energy is inexhaustible in supply — any sunlight, wind, wave energy and geothermal heat we use are replenished through natural processes. However, the infrastructure with which we capture and convert those forms of energy has a finite lifespan.

Solar panels, wind and water turbines, pumps and generators are built using materials and mechanical parts that inevitably deteriorate and lose efficiency. The narratives around renewable power seldom speak of the waste generated when those parts or entire systems are replaced or decommissioned, or the emissions produced during their manufacture.

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