Solar PV is on track to become a terawatt-scale industry. With this opportunity comes challenges, particularly when future raw material and manufacturing volumes are considered. For progress to be made, sustainability becomes a crucial issue. Already the first global sustainability standard for solar modules and inverters has been introduced, and it is likely mandatory measures will be applied in Europe via the Ecodesign directive. Ahead of the upcoming pv magazine Roundtable on sustainability, SMA answers some key questions about certification.
The airline industry has been among the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic; carriers are in ‘freefall’ as Glen Peters, research director at the Center for International Climate and Environment Research in Oslo recently wrote, with governments mulling stimulus packages for airline bailouts. How we react to the coronavirus outbreak is crucial for society as a whole and the solar and energy storage industries can lead the charge in rewriting the status quo.
Described as “historic”, the draft outlines the future climate protection course of the European Union. Overall, the EU should become climate neutral by 2050, and trigger €1 trillion in investment. €100 billion is expected to be made available for the transition. This is to be formalized in a climate law in the coming months. Although solar was noticeably absent in the draft, plans have been detailed by SolarPower Europe as to how it could be included.
Earlier this month, pv magazine held its first webinar under the UP sustainability initiative, looking at greenwashing versus verifiable sustainability. Initiative partner SMA and Professor Dustin Mulvaney shared their insights in a lively discussion. Many questions were submitted by the webinar participants. What follows are those we did not have time to answer.
A survey reveals greenwashing among major U.S. investor-owned electric utilities, which have been accused of using disproportionately high ratios of renewable versus fossil fuel images and language, while at the same time helping to block renewable energy policies. pv magazine speaks to the lead researcher
Credibility comes not just from offering products that generate clean electricity, but also from the way in which those products are manufactured, says SMA Solar Technology CEO Jürgen Reinert. Here, transparency and sustainability are key. That’s why one of the world’s largest PV inverter producers has partnered with pv magazine’s UP sustainability initiative. In the following Q&A, Reinert lays out what SMA is doing to step UP its green game.
Dustin Mulvaney is a solar industry veteran. Associate professor at the Department of Environmental Studies, San José State University, in the United States, he recently published a new book this April, “Solar Power, Innovation, Sustainability, Environmental Justice”, which looks at creating a “more sustainable and just solar industry for the future.” A part of this is the creation of a new global sustainability module standard. He spoke with pv magazine as part of the launch of our new UP initiative.
In the coming weeks, months, and years, pv magazine will be digging deeper and expanding our sustainability horizons, defining – with your help – the most effective courses of action. What follows is an overview of current sustainability initiatives in the solar and, to a lesser extent, storage industries.
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