Researchers from the European Fee have developed a ready-to-use technique to quantify the carbon footprint of PV modules that can be utilized in regulatory contexts such because the European Union’s Ecodesign Directive. They shared their findings in “Evaluation of the carbon footprint of photovoltaic modules by the EU Ecodesign Directive,” just lately printed in Photo voltaic Vitality.

The process is split into 9 fundamental steps. This features a life cycle evaluation (LCA) hotspot evaluation dedicated to figuring out areas the place environmental impacts are most vital. This utility of the strategy for PV modules identifies the carbon footprint as a very powerful space, however using water and assets, and many others., will be thought of as an alternative.

The next steps embody adapting the Product Environmental Footprint Class Guidelines (PEFCRs) to be used in ecodesign necessities for PV modules. The brand new “harmonized calculation guidelines” are set to calculate the carbon influence of PV modules from manufacturing to market entry with explicit deal with the manufacturing and delivery phases.

The strategy performs a sensitivity evaluation of PV modules’ silicon content material, module yield, and electrical energy grid combine used within the manufacturing part earlier than it calculates the ultimate outcome. The ultimate steps embody deciphering the outcomes, consulting with stakeholders, and eventually setting attainable PV modules’ carbon footprint necessities.

Based mostly on their evaluation, the researchers suggest the next various regulatory strategy to the carbon footprint of PV modules: introducing basic or parameter-specific quantitative necessities that set up a most admitted threshold for the carbon footprint in PV modules; require info on the carbon footprint of PV modules; and reporting that info on the power label or product datasheet.

“Setting ecodesign necessities for the carbon footprint of PV modules may end up in vital power financial savings, particularly in the course of the energy-intensive manufacturing part of those merchandise,” the authors concluded.

They notice that their proposals don’t essentially mirror the official place of the European Fee.

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