"PV technologies generate far less life-cycle air emissions than conventional fossil-fuel-based electricity generation technologies"
POINT ROBERTS, WA and DELTA, BC—June 12, 2008 -.RenewableEnergyStocks.com, a leading investor news and research portal for the renewable energy sector within Investorideas.com, presents a sector close-up on solar stocks and their environmental impact .
With the controversy faced over Ethanol stocks, investors can gain insight into their green portfolio of solar stocks.
RenewableEnergyStocks.com reports on environmental concerns associated with solar technology and how the industry is responding, featuring Xsunx, Inc (OTCBB: XSNX) and First Solar.
The US Department of Energy reports, " Modern solar electric power-generation systems such as photovoltaics (or PV) are some of the most elegant and environmentally benign energy systems ever invented."
Quoting a report published in January 2008,' Emissions from Photovoltaic Life Cycles',
" Photovoltaic (PV) technologies have shown remarkable progress recently in terms of annual production capacity and life cycle environmental performances, which necessitate timely updates of environmental indicators." The report further states, "Overall, all PV technologies generate far less life-cycle air emissions per GWh than conventional fossil-fuel-based electricity generation technologies. At least 89% of air emissions associated with electricity generation could be prevented if electricity from photovoltaics displaces electricity from the grid."
Keeping tabs on life-cycle emissions of carbon, chemicals and heavy metals used in products is nothing new, but the trend now appears to be accelerating which may force some "Green" technologies such as solar PV to revisit their environmental impact and overall carbon and environmental footprint.
Tom Djokovich, CEO, of Xsunx, Inc. (OTCBB:XSNX) a solar technology company engaged in the build-out of its multi-megawatt amorphous silicon thin film photovoltaic (TFPV) solar module manufacturing facilities, reports, "There's a growing interest within the sustainable energy industry in developing green credentials across the entire footprint of your brand. Here at XsunX we're working to balance our industrial manufacturing needs and product designs to minimize our impact on the environment we're working to improve."
He continued, "With XsunX, about half of the power our new 25 mega watt solar module manufacturing plant will use comes from renewable energy in the Pacific North West, we are recycling an existing building and numerous pieces of support equipment so as not to waste resources and the design of our thin film amorphous solar module does not transfer any toxic materials into the product or environment unlike the heavy metal concerns addressing some of the other module manufacturers in the industry."
As evidence of the growth in accessing long term environmental impact between various solar technologies the January 2008,' Emissions from Photovoltaic Life Cycles', the report presents a comparative analysis between four PV technologies, "Based on PV production data of 2004-2006, this study presents the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, criteria pollutant emissions, and heavy metal emissions from four types of major commercial PV systems: multicrystalline silicon, monocrystalline silicon, ribbon silicon, and thin-film cadmium telluride. Life-cycle emissions were determined by employing average electricity mixtures in Europe and the United States during the materials and module production for each PV system. Among the current vintage of PV technologies, thin-film cadmium telluride (CdTe) PV emits the least amount of harmful air emissions, as it requires the least amount of energy during the module production. However, the differences in the emissions between different PV technologies are very small in comparison to the emissions from conventional energy technologies that PV could displace. "
Companies that make cadmium-telluride solar cells include Q-Cells and First Solar. According to First Solar's website, "First Solar's advanced CdTe technology is instrumental in accomplishing our environmental mission. CdTe is uniquely capable of producing low cost solar modules, making widespread, cost-effective solar electricity a reality. Its physical properties are optimal for converting sunlight into electricity, resulting in highly efficient photovoltaics with thin (< 3 micron) semiconductor layers. CdTe is a robust material with the demonstrated capacity for high volume, low cost production."
Policies related to the introduction of heavy metals and other hazardous chemicals into the environment differ from region to region with the European Union adopting some of the most stringent guidelines. The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) effective in July 2006, in the European Union has attracted concerned about its impact on some of the companies in the sector. The restriction mandates a maximum content of 0.1wt % lead (Pb) and 0.01wt % cadmium (Cd) is allowed in homogeneous materials. The restrictions currently exempt the solar industry but there is a push for the reduction or substitution of the heavy-metal content in the Photovoltaic market in the EU to maintain its green image.
Investors following solar stocks can research the sector using the Renewableenergystocks.com stock directory and also read recent and past columns by on-site solar expert, J. Peter Lynch.
Featured Solar Showcase Company:
Solar Company XsunX, (OTCBB: XSNX) is developing amorphous silicon thin film photovoltaic (TFPV) solar cell manufacturing processes to produce TFPV solar modules. Visit Media showcase: http://www.investorideas.com/co/xsnx/default.asp or http://www.xsunx.com/
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Source: Investorideas.com RenewableEnergyStocks.com, XsunX