Life Cycle Impacts and Total Costs of Present and Future Photovoltaic Systems: State-of-the Art and Future Outlook of a Strategic Technology Option for a Sustainable Energy System
This paper provides a wide-ranging up-to-date literature review on the current state of the art of photovoltaic systems, in terms of market penetration, costs and environmental performance. It then goes on to draft three alternative scenarios for the next few decades, highlighting the four key factors influencing PV growth, i.e. cost reduction, efficiency increase, building integration and storage networks. Lastly, preliminary results are presented for greenhouse gas emissions of selected PV technologies in the years 2025 and 2050. In the light of the findings presented here, photovoltaics can be considered an inherently advantageous option for the production of “green” electricity, which may be looking at a rosy future provided that a few key conditions are met.
KeywordsPhotovoltaics life cycle analysis costs scenarios NEEDS
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