A Silver Institute study says demand for the precious metal for solar manufacturing accounted for 11% of global consumption last year but reduced solar generation capacity up to 2023 will eat into that figure and ‘thrifting’ technological advances will kick in after that point.
The battery and renewable energy industries are facing increased scrutiny for their human rights impacts. In December, U.S.-based technology and electric vehicle companies were named in the first lawsuit seeking to hold downstream companies responsible for allegedly aiding and abetting child labour in cobalt extraction in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (https://bit.ly/2UgQPgZ). Energy storage technology, such as batteries, is increasingly developed alongside solar and wind-powered electricity generation. This means the battery industry’s material risks are now of direct concern to a broader group of companies involved in the global transition to a low carbon economy.
The move has been welcomed as a step in the right direction by lobby group SolarPower Europe nevertheless, particularly as it envisages bringing together EU low-carbon businesses. The outline ambition will now be considered by the European Parliament.
Since 2016, Amnesty International has denounced cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo for human rights violations and the use of child labor. This has led LG Chem and other companies to insist on standards for battery cell suppliers, as a step toward improving the situation.
pv magazine’s Future PV Roundtable, held at the 2018 Renewable Energy India (REI) Expo in Greater Noida, discussed how India can better adopt bifacial solar cell and module technology – the future of power generation. Prominent industry speakers also put forth their views on how standards can catalyze solar innovation for India-specific challenges, and on PV materials and components for enhanced module efficiency and recycling.
pv magazine’s Quality Roundtable at the 2018 Renewable Energy India (REI) Expo, took place in front of a packed audience. It discussed current problem areas in the India solar industry; how solar developers and solution providers can improve the quality of PV installations; and innovative financial instruments to reduce the cost of debt and scale up infrastructure investment.
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