Measuring Sustainability of PV in Energy Transition: Mass, Energy, and Circularity

Heather Mirletz, Silvana Ovaitt, Macarena Mendez Ribo, Seetharaman Sridhar, Teresa Barnes

Research output: NRELPoster


Energy transition to a carbon-free energy system is crucial for global decarbonization and underpins circular economy (CE) goals. Photovoltaic (PV) technology is required for energy transition, but manufacturing and circular pathways can be material, energy, and carbon-intensive. Therefore, we need a prioritization of sustainability strategies for PV evolution. In this study, we compare sustainable PV module designs in terms of their entailed mass, energy, circularity, and carbon impacts to achieve Energy Transition. Results will support decision-makers through data-backed scenario and tradeoff analyses offering prioritization of sustainable PV module designs and CE pathways for meeting Energy Transition goals.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the 50th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, 11-16 June 2023, San Juan, Puerto Rico

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5K00-85096


  • carbon
  • circular economy
  • energy
  • energy transition
  • mass
  • modeling
  • reliability


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