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PV FAQs: Does the world have enough materials for PV to help address climate change?

Description: In the ongoing discussion of what needs to be done to stabilize atmospheric CO2 by mid-century (Hoffert 1998), one possible option would be to add about 10-20 terawatts (trillion watts, or TW) of photovoltaics (PV) in place of conventional sources. PV would help because, unlike burning fossil fuels, it produces no CO2. However, 10-20 TW is an enormous amount of energy. In peak Watts, the way PV installations are generally rated, it is about 50-100 TWpeak (TWp) of PV. Would we have enough materials to make this much PV? As we explain in this PV FAQ, we think our planet has enough feedstock materials for PV to meet the ''TW challenge.''
Date: June 1, 2005
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

PV FAQs: What is the Energy Payback for PV?

Description: How long does a PV system have to operate to recover the energy--and the associated generation of pollution and CO{sub 2}--that went into making the system? Energy paybacks for rooftop systems range from 1 to 4 years, depending on the system. Based on models and real data, the idea that PV cannot pay back its energy investment is simply a myth.
Date: December 1, 2004
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

PV FAQs: What Is the Energy Payback for PV?

Description: How long does a PV system have to operate to recover the energy-and the associated generation of pollution and CO2- that went into making the system? Energy paybacks for rooftop systems range from 1 to 4 years, depending on the system. Based on models and real data, the idea that PV cannot pay back its energy investment is simply a myth.
Date: January 1, 2004
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department