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Assessing Plausible Environmental Implications of a Ground-Mounted Perovskite/Si Tandem PV System
C. Salas-Redondo, C.-F. Blanco, J.-B. Puel, A. Julien, F. Soumane, S. Cucurachi, W.J.G.M. Peijnenburg, L. Oberbeck
c-Si, Environmental Effect, Heterojunction, Large Grid-Connected PV Systems, CO2 Footprint
Photovoltaic Modules and BoS Components
Subtopic: Sustainability and Recycling
Event: 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 4DO.11.5
704 - 707
ISBN: 3-936338-78-7
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20212021-4DO.11.5
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Document(s): paper


We have previously reported a comprehensive life cycle assessment (LCA) for large area (> 2 m²) perovskite/Si tandem solar modules with 30% power conversion efficiency (PCE), 30 years lifetime and an annual degradation of 0.5%, manufactured in a gigawatt-sized industrial scale production plant. We did an extensive compilation of the life cycle inventory (LCI) thanks to direct contacts with equipment manufacturers, who provided the required data to deliver a perspective to real-life conditions. In the present study, we prepared an updated LCA that includes an upgraded LCI as well as the addition of the end-of-life (EoL) stage and the comparison of electricity mix scenarios at the production stage. These scenarios are essential in a near future where renewable energies are expected to have a larger contribution in the global energy mix. The key result found in this work is the relevance of the performance and reliability of the photovoltaic (PV) system to achieve lower environmental impacts. We tested different assumptions using a detailed yield model for the PV system which considered optimistic, realistic, and pessimistic degradation rates, lifetime and PCE, among other parameters to investigate this matter. In a realistic scenario, we observed that for all the impacts assessed, the perovskite/Si tandem based system shows a decrease of between 30-45% in the contributions to each impact category, compared to the Si-module based reference PV system. Moreover, contemplating different EoL scenarios permits to address strategic methodologies to implement a circular economy in the life cycle of the tandem system. Finally, the analysis anticipating future electricity mix scenarios allows to define conditions to achieve further decreases of the environmental impacts.