From inefficient grids, shortfalls in policy, and even the occasional eclipse, solar-energy collection faces no shortage of hurdles. Scientists have discovered another stumbling block: air pollution. In certain parts of the globe, the accumulation of particulate matter on solar panels can curtail energy output by more than 25 percent, according to a new study.
Published last week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, the study revealed that the regions most susceptible to this challenge also have the heaviest solar investments. These regions include China, India, and the Arabian Peninsula.