Title: Life Cycle Assessment of Solar Technologies
Publisher: Wiley
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC95155
ISBN: 978-1-118-93394-7
URI: http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-111893394X.html
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The chapter presents an analysis of solar technologies (solar thermal, photovoltaic (PV) and solar cooling plants) based on a review of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies published in scientific journals. This analysis demonstrates the better environmental performance of solar technologies in comparison to fossil fuel based technologies for the production of heat or electricity. Solar technologies have also good performances compared to other renewable technologies (although the impacts per kWh of electricity from PV are generally higher than those of wind farms and hydro power plants). The analysis also shows that the energy and environmental payback times of solar plants are generally very low (on average, 1 year for solar thermal plants, and about 2 - 3 years for PV plants). Finally, the chapter discusses the large variability of results from reviewed studies due to different assumptions of authors and several sources of uncertainties.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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