ETIP Photovoltaics

Challenge 2

Lifetime, Reliability and Sustainability Enhancements (through Advanced Photovoltaic Technologies, Manufacturing and Applications)

PV modules and systems must reliably generate TWh of electricity for decades. It is also important to minimise any negative environment impacts from their manufacture. The introduction of novel technologies and novel PV system design makes the need of increased field performance and reliability a continuous industry demand.

Solutions and services which are already available in the market or close to the market will need to be continuously updated and redefined to capture innovation trends. Moreover, new technologies can introduce new degradation modes once in the field.

The production, operation, and disposal of any product carries with it an environmental burden. The minimization of the environmental burden for the whole lifetime requires the selection of ma- terials that create fewer toxic by-products, allow a longer life, are more recyclable, are lighter, less energy intensive in production, and need fewer scarce resources.

In line with the material efficiency hierarchy, resources should be kept in productive use as long as possible and at the highest quality possible. A license to operate a PV plant should be needed, one that guarantees materials will be recovered at the end of its life.

This Challenge is divided into two objectives:

Objective 1: Sustainable and Circular PV

Objective 2: Reliable and Bankable PV

Together, these objectives cover all aspects that need to be improved to enhance the lifetime, relia- bility, and sustainability of PV technology.

From multi-MW utility scale down to small systems on residential roofs, electricity generated by photovoltaic systems is changing the energy landscape as we know it. GWs of capacity are added worldwide year after year where the cumulative 1 TW goal could be achieved already in 2022. By the end of the next decade the TW annual market could become reality. PV already represents a share of more than 8 % of the electricity generation in some countries (Italy, Germany, Greece, to name a few) and with these values in mind the penetration levels will quickly reach the double-digit all-over Europe. It is within this scenario that the PV sector must ensure that the installed power capacity in GW can also reliably generate TWh of electricity for an extended lifetime. With PV becoming main- stream, it becomes also important to ensure sustainability from energy, environmental and invest- ment viewpoint.