How climate (un)friendly is the production of solar energy?

PV modules Desert

How climate (un)friendly is the production of solar energy?

Solar energy is often considered as one of the most environmentally friendly energy sources on earth. However, certain skeptics ask serious questions about the sustainability of solar panels.

Zonnepanelen op plat dak thumb

MO submitted this statement to experience expert Pierre Verlinden, who has been active in the PV sector for forty years.  “Electricity produced with coal expels 1,000 grams of carbon per kilowatt hour into the air,” Verlinden explains. “With oil this is 900 grams, with gas 580 grams but with solar power it is only 19 grams. Only hydropower performs better with only 15 grams.”

Energy Payback Time

The Energy Payback Time is often used as a measure of the climate friendliness of an energy source. This is the time required to recover the energy that is consumed during production. “In Belgium, it takes a year and ten months before you have recovered the energy needed to make a solar panel with that solar panel, and in a country with a lot of sun this is already the case after a single year. This means that these solar panels are able to produce additional energy for at least another 24 years.”

Source: MO, 26 mei 2018

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