Global Electronics Council The non-profit organization (GEC) established to promote sustainable electronics has added to its criteria EPEATS the ecolabel system focused on reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the solar panel production supply chain.
These criteria are the first criteria issued by a global ecolabel to set threshold values for the carbon contained in solar power, and are a prerequisite for receiving the EPEAT ecolabel for solar modules.
“While renewable energy is essential to the transition to a green economy, we also need to consider the underlying infrastructure’s contribution to climate change,” says Bob Mitchell, CEO of GEC. “The market needs a reliable method to estimate the carbon dioxide emissions of solar panels during production in order to make informed purchasing decisions.”
Solar energy plants are designed in such a way that the net effect of their electricity production is zero. However, the carbon content of solar panels can vary greatly depending on the supply chain used to manufacture them.
“Reducing the carbon contained in solar farm equipment can increase the payback period of solar energy emissions from one to three years, depending on the local energy mix, to less than one year in many locations, which accelerates the positive impact of solar energy development on climate change. “, says Nastassja Hagan, Head of Sustainable Development at Lightsource bp.
The EPEAT criteria focus on measuring and reducing so-called Scope 3 carbon emissions, or the carbon generated in the design, material procurement and manufacturing of these products.
GEC plans to launch a public register of solar panels meeting the new criteria at the end of September. Solar panel manufacturers interested in registering their products under the new criteria, which include independent, third-party product evaluation, should begin the process as soon as possible.