Monday, July 15, 2024

IEA-PVPS releases truth sheet on environmental life cycle evaluation of PV Systems – pv journal Worldwide


The up to date IEA PVPS Task 12 Fact Sheet gives a complete evaluation of the environmental impacts related to PV programs. It highlights the numerous advances made in PV know-how, emphasizing higher effectivity and diminished environmental footprints.

The IEA PVPS Task 12 (PV Sustainability Activities) has launched an up to date Fact Sheet, which sheds mild on the environmental impacts of photovoltaic (PV) electrical energy. This Fact Sheet, titled “Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Electricity from PV Systems“, provides key insights into PV sustainability and highlights key developments in addition to present knowledge in PV know-how.

Life Cycle Assessment: A Comprehensive Overview

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an in depth methodology used to quantify and assess materials and vitality flows, in addition to emissions, all through the life cycle phases of PV programs. These phases embrace manufacturing, transportation, set up, use, and finish of life. The manufacturing section consists of useful resource acquisition, uncooked materials manufacturing, and manufacturing of wafers, cells, panels, inverters, and mounting constructions. Transportation covers distribution logistics, whereas set up consists of organising roof programs and cables. The use section evaluates the system’s efficiency over a typical 30-year operational interval, together with upkeep. Finally, the end-of-life section offers with dismantling, recycling, and waste administration processes.

The up to date Fact Sheet focuses totally on a typical residential PV system in Europe. This system is outlined by a setup of roof-mounted PV, an annual manufacturing fee of 976 kWh/kW, and an in-plane irradiation of 1,331 kWh/m². It consists of PV panels, cabling, mounting construction, inverter, and set up, with a linear degradation fee of 0.7% per 12 months and a service lifetime of 30 years for panels and 15 years for inverters.

Evaluation of PV Module Technologies

The IEA PVPS Task 12 assesses 4 PV module applied sciences, every with a special effectivity: Cadmium-Telluride (CdTe) at 18.4%, Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenide (CIS/CIGS) at 17.0% , Multi-crystalline Silicon (multi-Si, BSF) at 18.0%, and Mono-crystalline Silicon (mono-Si, PERC/TOPCon) at 20.9%. These efficiencies are essential in figuring out the environmental and efficiency impacts of every know-how.

Key Findings from the Fact Sheet

The non-renewable vitality payback time (NREPBT) is the time required for a renewable vitality system to generate an quantity of vitality equal to the non-renewable vitality utilized in its manufacturing. The examine revealed an NREPBT of roughly one 12 months for the analyzed PV programs, which exhibits a speedy return on the vitality funding.

PV programs can considerably cut back greenhouse gasoline emissions in comparison with fossil gas mills. The carbon footprint for producing 1 kWh of photo voltaic electrical energy ranges from 25.2 to 43.6 g of CO2 equal, a lot decrease than the as much as 1 kg CO2 per kWh emitted by fossil fuels. The examine additionally assessed further environmental impacts, together with useful resource use of fossil fuels (0.35 to 0.52 MJ per kWh), useful resource use of minerals and metals (4.6 to five.3 mg Sb equal per kWh), particulate matter ( 1.0 to 4.0 incidence per kWh) , and acidification (0.18 to 0.36 mmol H+ equivalents per kWh).

Comparing present knowledge with earlier years, the examine highlights the numerous discount of greenhouse gasoline emissions by as much as 17% in some applied sciences, because of enhancements in manufacturing and elevated module effectivity.

The effectivity of PV modules, particularly mono-Si, has elevated considerably through the years, contributing to the discount of greenhouse gasoline emissions. For instance, the common module effectivity has elevated from 14.0% in 2007 to twenty.9% just lately, with a corresponding discount in emissions from 76 g CO2 eq/kWh to 36 g CO2 eq/kWh.


The detailed life cycle evaluation methodology used on this examine gives priceless insights into the complete life cycle of PV programs, from manufacturing to end-of-life administration. This holistic strategy ensures that each one environmental impacts are thought of, enabling extra knowledgeable decision-making for policymakers and trade stakeholders.

Please obtain the Fact Sheet right here.

IEA PVPS Task 12 goals to quantify the environmental profile of PV programs relative to different vitality applied sciences and deal with crucial environmental, well being, security, and sustainability points to help market development.

For extra info please contact the IEA PVPS Task 12 Managers: Garvin Heath and Etienne Drahi.

The views and opinions expressed on this article are these of the creator, and don’t essentially replicate these held by pv journal.

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