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Life cycle assessment of grid-connected photovoltaic power generation from crystalline silicon solar modules in China

Author:
Hou, Guofu, Sun, Honghang, Jiang, Ziying, Pan, Ziqiang, Wang, Yibo, Zhang, Xiaodan, Zhao, Ying, Yao, Qiang
Source:
Applied energy 2016 v.164 pp. 882-890
ISSN:
0306-2619
Subject:
energy, environmental impact, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, issues and policy, life cycle inventory, manufacturing, power generation, silicon, subsidies, China
Abstract:
The environmental impacts of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) power generation from crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar modules in China have been investigated using life cycle assessment (LCA). The life cycle inventory was first analyzed. Then the energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission during every process were estimated in detail, and finally the life-cycle value was calculated. The results showed that the energy payback time (TEPBT) of grid-connected PV power with crystalline silicon solar modules ranges from 1.6 to 2.3years, while the GHG emissions now range from 60.1 to 87.3g-CO2,eq/kWh depending on the installation methods. About 84% or even more of the total energy consumption and total GHG emission occupied during the PV manufacturing process. The solar grade silicon (SoG-Si) production is the most energy-consuming and GHG-emitting process, which accounts for more than 35% of the total energy consumption and the total GHG emission. The results presented in this study are expected to provide useful information to enact reasonable policies, development targets, as well as subsidies for PV technology in China.
Agid:
5639349