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Life Cycle Assessment of Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC) CIGS Cells

Shanika Amarakoon, Cyril Vallet, David Cooley, Jonathan Dorn, Lauren Brown, Abt Global, with Dr. Mary Ann Curran


November 20, 2017

The photovoltaic (PV) industry is rapidly evolving as demand for renewable energy sources continues to grow.  Although the PV industry is currently dominated by traditional silicon-based technology, next generation thin-film PV cells are gaining traction due to their potential for lower costs, better reliability, and higher efficiency.

This report presents the results of a life-cycle assessment (LCA) study of thin film PV cells – copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS) – currently being researched and developed by the Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC).  Based in New York State (NYS), PVMC is an industry-led consortium of industry, university, and government stakeholders working to advance next generation PV cells (PVMC, 2014). Since the CIGS cell technology shows promise for significant growth, PVMC sought support to identify potential opportunities to reduce human health and environmental impacts of the product system using an LCA approach.  

Read related research on CIGS PV technology.

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