Estimation of Resource Efficiency and Its Demand for Photovoltaic Systems Using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Method
Korean Society of Environmental Engineering
In this study, the resource efficiency and future metal resource requirement in photovoltaic (PV) production system were evaluated by using material balance data and life cycle assesment (LCA) method. As a result, in the resource efficiency of ferrous and non-ferrous metal, lead and tin had higher resource efficiency than other materials in all PV systems (SC-Si, MC-Si, CI(G)S, CdTe). In the resource efficiency of rare metals, gallium and rhenium in silicon system and rhenium and rhodium in thin-film system ranked as the first and second high resource efficiency. In case of rare earth metal, gadolinium and samarium took higher resource efficiency. The results of the future metal resource requirement in PV systems showed that 2,545,670 ton of aluminium, 92,069 ton of zinc, 22,044 ton of copper, 1,695 ton of tin and 31 ton of nickel will be needed by 2030 in South Korea, except resource recycling supplement.