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Sustainability of PV systems: Promoting the conservation of scarce resources and consistent further usage of materials after their original use.

Economy and ecology

Improved economic performance is decisive when it comes to the acceptance and industrial exploitation of new technologies. In the field of photovoltaics (PV), it is important to look at the overall system since the crucial factor is not the efficiency of the individual components but the electricity generation cost at the system level.  

Pilot tests involving preindustrial demonstration systems are decisive for the further development of manufacturing technologies in order to advance and optimise processes and provide evidence of their suitability for mass production – ranging from materials to process equipment. This requires a suitable industrial development platform.

In addition, work is being carried out on enhanced sustainability, which involves minimal use or replacement of environmentally incompatible materials and consideration of the energy balance and ecological footprint. Production must avoid materials that are harmful to health and the environment as far as possible. Scarce resources must be conserved. Consistent recycling after use makes PV systems sustainable. Socio-economic aspects and life cycles are to be investigated and analysed at the same time.