flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

NREL report: Using photovoltaic modules with longer lifetimes is a better option than recycling

Green

NREL report: Using photovoltaic modules with longer lifetimes is a better option than recycling

Long-lived panels could slash demand for materials


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | November 13, 2022
NREL report: Using photovoltaic modules with longer lifetimes is a better option than recycling
Photo: Pixabay

A new report from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) says PV module lifetime extensions should be prioritized over closed-loop recycling to reduce demand for new materials.

Researchers assessed the impact on new material demand with different module lifetimes from 15 to 50 years. They also examined closed-loop recycling, and assumed that the U.S. will have 1.75 terawatts of cumulative PV installed capacity by 2050.

Modules with 50-year lifetimes could reduce new material demand by 3% through lower deployment, compared to a 35-year baseline scenario. Fifteen-year modules would require an additional 1.2 TW of replacement modules, which would increase new material demand and waste unless over 95% of the module mass was closed-loop recycled.

To date, no PV technology has reached near the 95% level of closed-loop recycling for all component materials. Thus, manufacturing longer-lasting PVs is the more eco-friendly choice.

Related Stories

Office Buildings | Dec 6, 2022

‘Chicago’s healthiest office tower’ achieves LEED Gold, WELL Platinum, and WiredScore Platinum

Goettsch Partners (GP) recently completed 320 South Canal, billed as “Chicago’s healthiest office tower,” according to the architecture firm. Located across the street from Chicago Union Station and close to major expressways, the 51-story tower totals 1,740,000 sf. It includes a conference center, fitness center, restaurant, to-go market, branch bank, and a cocktail lounge in an adjacent structure, as well as parking for 324 cars/electric vehicles and 114 bicycles.

Energy Efficiency | Dec 6, 2022

Washington state’s Building Code Council mandates heat pumps in all new residential construction

The Washington State Building Code Council has voted to require heat pumps for all new residential construction starting in July 2023. The new mandate has drawn criticism over concerns that it will add costs to housing construction, especially given current supply chain challenges for heat pumps.

Geothermal Technology | Dec 6, 2022

Google spinoff uses pay-as-you-go business model to spur growth in geothermal systems

Dandelion Energy is turning to a pay-as-you-go plan similar to rooftop solar panel leasing to help property owners afford geothermal heat pump systems.

K-12 Schools | Nov 30, 2022

School districts are prioritizing federal funds for air filtration, HVAC upgrades

U.S. school districts are widely planning to use funds from last year’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) to upgrade or improve air filtration and heating/cooling systems, according to a report from the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council. The report, “School Facilities Funding in the Pandemic,” says air filtration and HVAC upgrades are the top facility improvement choice for the 5,004 school districts included in the analysis.

Legislation | Nov 23, 2022

7 ways the Inflation Reduction Act will impact the building sector

HOK’s Anica Landreneau and Stephanie Miller and Smart Surfaces Coalition’s Greg Kats reveal multiple ways the IRA will benefit the built environment. 

Green | Nov 13, 2022

USGBC updates LEED v4 to better address greenhouse gas emissions and climate change

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will update the LEED v4 green building certification program to “more directly address greenhouse gas emissions and climate change” according to a USGBC news release.

Green | Nov 13, 2022

Global building emissions reached record levels in 2021

Carbon-dioxide emissions from building construction and operations hit an all-time high in 2021, according to the most recent data compiled by the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction.

University Buildings | Nov 13, 2022

University of Washington opens mass timber business school building

Founders Hall at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, the first mass timber building at Seattle campus of Univ. of Washington, was recently completed. The 84,800-sf building creates a new hub for community, entrepreneurship, and innovation, according the project’s design architect LMN Architects.

Industry Research | Nov 8, 2022

U.S. metros take the lead in decarbonizing their built environments

A new JLL report evaluates the goals and actions of 18 cities.

Green | Nov 8, 2022

USGBC and IWBI will develop dual certification pathways for LEED and WELL

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) will expand their strategic partnership to develop dual certification pathways for LEED and WELL.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

Office Buildings

‘Chicago’s healthiest office tower’ achieves LEED Gold, WELL Platinum, and WiredScore Platinum

Goettsch Partners (GP) recently completed 320 South Canal, billed as “Chicago’s healthiest office tower,” according to the architecture firm. Located across the street from Chicago Union Station and close to major expressways, the 51-story tower totals 1,740,000 sf. It includes a conference center, fitness center, restaurant, to-go market, branch bank, and a cocktail lounge in an adjacent structure, as well as parking for 324 cars/electric vehicles and 114 bicycles.




K-12 Schools

School districts are prioritizing federal funds for air filtration, HVAC upgrades

U.S. school districts are widely planning to use funds from last year’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) to upgrade or improve air filtration and heating/cooling systems, according to a report from the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council. The report, “School Facilities Funding in the Pandemic,” says air filtration and HVAC upgrades are the top facility improvement choice for the 5,004 school districts included in the analysis.

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021

 



Magazine Subscription
Subscribe

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe

Follow BD+C: