Environmental Impacts of Photovoltaics/Solar Energy

  • Angelika E. Baumann
  • Robert Hill
Conference paper


The generation of electricity is generally known as a major source of environmental pollution. This applies not only to conventional energy systems but also to some extent to renewable energy technologies, if one considers the complete life-cycle of these technologies. During the various stages of the life-cycle of each given technology, which include fuel extraction, preparation, transport, conversion, operation, distribution, utilisation, waste processing and disposal, emissions are generated and dispersed into the environment, thereby imposing a burden on living systems and items of value to human society. These burdens, in turn, have an impact on the physical and biological environment as well as on human health and life. As these impacts impose significant costs on society, decisions concerning energy planning and the selection of energy systems ought to be based on a comparative analysis of various energy technologies and their “upstream” and “downstream” activities.


Copper Indium Thin Film Cell Copper Indium Diselenide Selenium Cadmium Cadmium Cadmium 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angelika E. Baumann
    • 1
  • Robert Hill
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NorthumbriaNewcastle upon TyneUK

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