Sustainability assessment of photovoltaic energy technologies in sub-assembly level

Taslima Khanam, A M Mabrur Ahmad Rashedi, Margub Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper presented at Conference (not in Proceedings)peer-review


Solar energy is one of the most ubiquitous and inexhaustible form of energies in the planet Earth. Accordingly, there has been a major thrust in adopting solar photovoltaic (PV) energy globally with decreasing technology cost and increasing grid parity level. Out of the solar PV systems, four technologies occupy more than 99% market share globally in commercial or end-use installations based on the latest installation record of Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Germany; these include mono crystalline silicon (mono-Si), multi crystalline silicon (multi-Si), amorphous silicon (a-Si) and cadmium telluride (CdTe) PV technologies. This presentation addresses on the environmental life cycle impacts delivered by various sub-assemblies of these four solar systems based on a state-of-the-art life cycle assessment methodology (ReCiPe 2016 midpoint method). The environmental impacts include global warming, stratospheric ozone depletion, ionising radiation, ozone formation (human health), fine particulate matter formation, ozone formation (terrestrial ecosystems), terrestrial acidification, freshwater eutrophication, marine eutrophication, terrestrial ecotoxicity, freshwater ecotoxicity, marine ecotoxicity, human carcinogenic toxicity, human non-carcinogenic toxicity, land use, mineral resource scarcity, fossil resource scarcity and water consumption. Findings from the study suggest that in most of the cases, and, for all the technologies, the PV panel carries the largest environmental impact followed by inverter, balance of system components and mounting system, sequentially.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2020
EventInternational Conference on Renewable Energy 2020 -
Duration: 25 Nov 202030 Nov 2020
Conference number: 3rd.


ConferenceInternational Conference on Renewable Energy 2020
Abbreviated titleICREN 2020
Internet address


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