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Terawatt Scale PV by 2050 and Competition for Minerals: The Case of Silver and Copper
P. Macé, E. Bosch, M. Aleman
Environmental Effect, Sustainable, Copper, Silver, Resources Scarcity
Photovoltaic Modules and BoS Components
Subtopic: Sustainability and Recycling
Event: 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 4CO.4.6
683 - 689
ISBN: 3-936338-78-7
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20212021-4CO.4.6
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper, presentation


The role of the deployment of solar PV systems in possibly triggering competition for silver and copper supply, in the frame of a terawatt scale market, is presented in this paper, including the methodology implemented to determine it. Possible strategies to reduce the risk of competition, such as increasing the contribution of secondary production in raw material supply, are analysed. The opportunity of shifting from Ag to Cu in PV cells’ metallization is measured. The interest of efficiency increases is discussed, as well as the attractiveness of shifting from single-junction c-Si to perovskites, in single-junction configuration or in tandem with c-Si. The contribution of the various components of PV systems is also highlighted. Eventually this research permits to evaluate to which extent the objective to limit global warming to 1,5°C by 2100 is realistic, considering the constraints on silver and copper potentially caused by solar PV.