Precious and Critical Resource Consumption and Land Use: Focused on Photovoltaic (PV) System in South Korea
7TH International Conference on Industrial Ecology (ISIE 2013), Ulsan, South Korea, June 25-28
Renewable energy technology and systems such as photovoltaic (PV) and wind system are consuming precious and critical materials and using available land as well as providing direct benefits at national and local levels. In South Korea, intensive effort started in 1988 under Promotion Act for New and Renewable Energy Development. According to the 3rd National Plan for Energy Technology Development, the Government is aiming at the supply of 6% of total energy demand by new and renewable energy by 2020 and 11% by 2030. In case of the PV system, the goal is targeted from 59,000 TOE production in 2008 to 1,364,000 TOE production in 2030 (about 2,311% increased). In this study, based on 1 m2 PV module production (SC-Si, MC-Si, CI(G)S, and CdTe), the life cycle resources requirement (e.g., types and amount of input ferrous and nonferrous metals and rare materials), resource efficiency and land use are calculated by using material balance data and Eco-invent life cycle inventory data. Also by using the photovoltaic energy production target in South Korea by 2030, future requirement resources and land use amount calculated. As a result, the consumption of ferrous and nonferrous metals, rare earth and critical materials as well as land use were quantified. In the ferrous and nonferrous metal, aluminium was the most consumed metal and followed by iron and zinc. In the precious materials, cadmium, chromium, manganese, gallium were the most used metals. Also uranium and cerium were the most consumed metals in rare earth materials. The land use requirement amount by 2030 is 942 km2 for SC-Si system, 1,077 km2 MC-Si system, 311 km2 CI(G)S system and 606 km2 CdTe system. Our research approach can be used and applied for future sustainable resource and land use management of renewable energy system in South Korea.