The carbon footprint of solar panels has quadrupled in a decade shutterstock

The carbon footprint of solar panels has quadrupled in a decade

Katerina Belousova

1 GW of solar power per year can offset 1.5 Mt of carbon from coal-fired generation

In 2021, global carbon emissions from the production of solar panels accounted for 0.15% of global energy emissions (52 thousand kt), and increased 4 times during the decade.

Polysilicon production remains the dirtiest segment of the solar industry, although over the past 10 years its share has decreased from over 60% to 39%, the Solar Energy Association of Ukraine reports on Facebook.

Over the past 10 years, the capacity of solar panels has increased 7 times.

The transition from polycrystalline to monocrystalline technology increased the share of silicon wafers in the pollution level by 17 percentage points.

A study by the International Energy Agency showed that the greatest influence on the "cleanliness" of the solar industry was given by the concentration of production in China (87% of emissions from production in the industry in 2021 compared to 59% in 2011), where in the provinces with the largest production of solar components, coal occupies about 75% of the energy mix.

Thanks to the improvement of the efficiency of the use of materials, energy efficiency and the reduction of the share of fossil fuels in the production of electricity, the intensity of CO2 emissions has decreased by 45%.

The material also noted that 1 GW of solar power per year can offset 1.5 Mt of carbon from coal-fired generation.

Earlier, EcoPolitic wrote, that in 2030 the cost of recycled materials of photo modules will be more than $2.7 billion, currently $170 million, and $80 billion by 2050.

As EcoPolitic previously reported, the Ukrainian entrepreneur developed vertical solar panels Attspodina WeDoSolar, which can be placed on balconies.

Related
The energy crisis will cause an increase in prices for carbon emissions in the EU – analysts
The energy crisis will cause an increase in prices for carbon emissions in the EU – analysts

A decline in industrial production in Europe could reduce demand for permits

A low emissions prices do not help fight climate change in Asia - Bloomberg
A low emissions prices do not help fight climate change in Asia - Bloomberg

China's carbon prices peak at around $9 per ton in early 2022

Ukraine in the top 5 countries with the cleanest steel production. Infographics
Ukraine in the top 5 countries with the cleanest steel production. Infographics

Ukrainian manufacturers are competitive on the world market in terms of carbon emissions

India wants to launch a carbon trading market
India wants to launch a carbon trading market

India is the world's third largest carbon emitter