Photovoltaics - Environmental Impacts

Use of solar energy release no CO2, SO2, or NO2 gases and don't contribute to global warming. Photovoltaic is now a proven technology which is inherently safe as opposed to some dangerous electricity generating technologies. Over its estimated life a photovoltaic module will produce much more electricity then used in it's production and a 100 W module will prevent the emission of over two tons of CO2. Photovoltaic systems make no noise and cause no pollution in operation. Solar energy is clean, silent, and freely available.


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Photovoltaic modules, part of our environment
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Life Cycle Analysis - Links and Reports


Books

book
Sorensen, B., 2011, Life-Cycle Analysis of Energy Systems: From Methodology to Applications, Royal Society of Chemistry.

Papers and other information

paper
Hsu, D. et al. 2012, Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Electricity Generation: Systematic Review and Harmonization. Journal of Industrial Ecology, (16:S1); pp.S122-S135.
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Kim, H. et al., 2012, Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Thin-film Photovoltaic Electricity Generation: Systematic Review and Harmonization. Journal of Industrial Ecology, (16:S1); pp. S110-S121.
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Ftenakis, V. et al.: Life Cyle Assesment of Photovoltaics: Perceptions, Needs and Challenges; 31st IEEE Photovoltaic Specialistis Conference, Jan. 3-7, 2005, Orlando, FL.
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Ftenakis, V. et al.: Emissions from Photovoltaic Life Cycles; Environ. Sci. Technol., 2008, 42 (6), pp 2168–2174, February 6, 2008.
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Koroneos, C. et al.: LCA of Multicrystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Systems - Part 1: Present Situation and Future Perspectives; The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Volume 11, Number 2, 129-136.
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Koroneos, C. et al.: LCA of Multicrystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Systems - Part 1: Application on an Island Economy The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Volume 11, Number 3, 183-188.
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Dones, R.; Frischknecht, R.: Life Cycle Assessment of Photovoltaic Systems: Results of Swiss Studies on Energy Chains; Appendix B-9. Environmental Aspects of PV Power Systems. Utrecht, The Netherlands: Utrecht University, Report Number 97072, 1997.
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Kato, K.; Murata, A.; Sakuta, K.: Energy Payback Time and Life-Cycle CO2 Emission of Residential PV Power System with Silicon PV Module; Progress in Photovoltaics, Research and Applications, 6, 110-115, 1998.

Energy Balance - Reports


Other Links

www
International Nuclear Power Fact File Poster Campaign; The international poster campaign of IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War), EUROSOLAR (European Association for Renewable Energy) and WISE International (World Information Service on Nuclear Energy)
www
Nuclear power - the energy balance; This study is a physical analysis of the nuclear system: the full technical and industrial complex, needed to generate electricity from uranium.
paper
Lenzen, M.: Life cycle energy and greenhouse gas emissions of nuclear energy: A review. Energy Conversion and Management 49, 2178-2199, 2008.

Photovoltaic Module Recycling


Recycling - Electronic Equipment


Papers

paper
Müller, A., Wambach, K., Alsema, E.: Life Cycle Analysis Of a Solar Module Recycling Process; 20th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, 6-10 June 2005, Barcelona, Spain.
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Wambach, K.: Recycling von Solarmodulen und Solarzellen - Rückgewinnung von Silicium und Verbindungshalbleitern; SIDAF - Aktuelle Situation und Perspektiven der Abfallwirtschaft; TU Bergakademie, Freiberg, April 2002.

Additional Information - Environmental Impacts

paper
Reich, N.H. et al,: CO2 emissions of PV in the perspective of a renewable energy economy; 22nd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, 3-7 September 2010, Milan, Italy.
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Sensfuß, F. et al.: Analysis of the Impact of Renewable Electricity Generation on CO2 Emissions and Power Plant operation in Germany; Fraunhofer Institute for systems and Innovation Research, Karlsruhe, 10. Symposium Energieinnovation, 13-15 Februar 2008, Graz, Austria.
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Klobasa, M., Ragwitz, M.: Gutachten zur CO2-Minderung im Stromsketor durch den Einsatz Erneuerbaren Energien; Bericht für die Arbeitsgruppe Erneuerbare Energien Statistik (AGEE-Stat) im Auftrag des Zentrum für Sonnenergie und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (ZSW), Fraunhofer Institut für System und Innovationsforschung, Karlsruhe, Januar 2005.
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Beloin-Saint-Pierre D. et al.: Environmental Impact of PV systems: effects of energy sources used in production of solar panels. 24th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, September 2009.
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Alsema, E., Nieuwlaar, E.: Environmental Aspects of PV Power Systems; IEA PVPS Task 1 Workshop, Report 97072, 25-27 June 1997.
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Alsema, E., de Wild-Scholten, M.J.: The Real Environmental Impacts of Crystaline Silicon PV Modules: An Analysis Based on up-to-date Manufacturers Data.
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Alsema, E., Phylipsen, G.J.M.: Environmental life-cycle assessment of multicrystalline silicon solar cell modules; a study by commission of the Netherlands Agency for Energy and the Environment, NOVEM, Department of Science, Technology and Society Utrecht University, Report Number 95057, 1995
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Alsema, E.: Energy Requirements and CO2 Mitigation Potential of PV Systems; Photovoltaics and the Environment. Keystone, CO, July 1998, Workshop Proceedings. Brookhaven National Laboratory, Report Number BNL-52557, 1999.
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Aguado-Monsonet, M.A.: The environmental impact of photovoltaic technology; Task 6, INTERSUDMED Project, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies Sevilla, Spain, January 1998.
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Ftenakis, V.: Overview of Potential Hazards; Chapter VII in Practical Handbook of Photovoltaics: Fundamentals and Applications; (Editors: T. Markvart and L. Castañer), Elsevier, 2003.
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Ftenakis, V.: The Role of Hazard Analysis in PV Manufacture; 3rd World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, WCPEC-3, May 12-16, 2003, Osaka, Japan.
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Ftenakis, V.: EHS Issues in III-V Solar Cell Manufacturing; 3rd World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, WCPEC-3, May 12-16, 2003, Osaka, Japan.
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Ftenakis, V., Zweibel, K.: CdTe PV: Real and Perceived EHS Risks Presented at the NCPV and Solar Program Review Meeting, March 24-26, 2003, Denver, CO.
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Morris, S., Ftenakis, V.: MARKAL Analysis of PV Capacity and CO2 Emissions/ Reduction in the US; 3rd World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, WCPEC-3, May 12-16, 2003, Osaka, Japan.
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Münchmeyer, T.: EUROATOM - im Schatten der Öffentlichkeit;; Greenpeace International, 2002.
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Bernreuter, J.: Leichterer Rucksack, Killerargumente widerlegen (5); Photovoltaik belastet die Umwelt Photon, 01/2003, p.51-52, p.65-66.
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Bernreuter, J.: Sichere Lösung, Killerargumente widerlegen (6); "Photovoltaik gefärdert die Gesundheit"; Photon, Februar 2003, p.57-61.

Additional Information - Energy Balance

paper
Knapp, K.E., Jester, T.L.: An Empirical Perspective on the Energy Payback Time for Photovoltaic Modules; Solar 2000 Conference, Madison, WI, 2000.
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Notton, G., M. Muselli, P. Poggi: Costing of a stand-alone photovoltaic system; Energy 23 (4), p.289-308, 1998.
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Harmon, C.: Experience Curves of Photovoltaic Technology; Interim Report IR-00-014, International Institute for Applied System Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria, March 2000.
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Palz, W.; Zibetta, H.: Energy Pay-Back Time of Photovoltaic Modules; Solar Energy. Volume 10, Number 3-4, pp. 211-216, 1991.