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Reduction of the environmental impacts in crystalline silicon module manufacturing

By E.A. Alsema and M.J. de Wild-Schoten


In this paper we review the most important options to reduce environmental impacts of crystalline silicon modules. We investigate which are the main barriers for implementation of the measure. Finally we review which measures to reduce environmental impacts could also lead to a cost reduction. Reduction of silicon consumption is a measure which will significantly reduce environmental impacts and at the same time has a cost reduction potential. Silicon feedstock processes with lower energy consumption such as Fluidized Bed Reactor technology, also have a large impact reduction potential. Together these two options can reduce the Energy Pay-Back Time of a PV installation (in South-Europe) to values well below 1 year. Other improvement options are identified in crystal growing and cell and module manufacturing. A number of options is likely to be implemented as soon as technological barriers are overcome because they lead to cost advantages next to environmental impact reductions. In addition there are also several environmental improvement options that are not or less clearly linked to a cost reduction. In these cases it will depend on the policy of companies or on government ruling, whether such “best available technologies” will be implemented or not

Year: 2007
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