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ECN publication
Environmental impacts of PV electricity generation - a critical comparison of energy supply options
Alsema, E.A.; Wild - Scholten, M.J. de; Fthenakis, V.M.
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Solar Energy 11-9-2006
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-RX--06-016 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
7 Download PDF  

Presented at: 21st European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, Dresden, Germany, 4-8 september 2006.

An overview is given of the environmental impacts of different PV technologies both at the present status of technology and for future technology. Crystalline silicon PV systems presently have energy pay-back times of 1.5-2 years for South-European locations and 2.7-3.5 yr for Middle-European locations. For silicon technology clear prospects for a reduction of energy input exist, and an energy pay-back of 1 year may be possible within a few years. Thin film technologies now have energy pay-back times in the range of 1-1.5 years (S.Europe). Greenhouse gas emissions are now in the range of 25-32 g/kWh and this could decrease to 15 g/kWh in the future. Therefore PV energy systems have a very good potential as a low-carbon energy supply technology.

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