More Than Recycling: How Should We Define Circularity Goals for PV in a Global Energy Transition? Preprint

Heather Mirletz, Silvana Ovaitt, Teresa Barnes, Seetharaman Sridhar

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Energy transition to carbon-free electricity is a crucial pillar of the Circular Economy. Renewable energy reduces environmental impacts and decarbonizes the production of other goods. But, manufacturing renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic (PV) modules, require energy inputs that are currently carbon intensive. So, how do we decarbonize and circularize these critical technologies to achieve a sustainable energy transition? This work proposes that effective capacity-the installed capacity accounting for degradation rates and failures-is a critical metric to evaluate renewable energy technologies on the path toward circular economy and energy transitions. Our analyses also emphasize the importance of examining a suite of metrics incorporating mass and energy flows to identify potential tradeoffs and inform design or lifecycle management decisions holistically.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2023
EventEU PVSEC 2023 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 18 Sep 202322 Sep 2023

Conference

ConferenceEU PVSEC 2023
CityLisbon, Portugal
Period18/09/2322/09/23

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-85260

Keywords

  • bifacial
  • circularity
  • energy transition
  • PERC
  • perovskite
  • photovoltaics
  • recycling
  • reliability
  • remanufacturing
  • reuse
  • SHJ
  • sustainability

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