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Making Solar Energy Even Cleaner


December, 2020

Solar is the fastest growing form of energy, and as more companies and governments turn to solar as a clean and affordable source of power, they often don’t realize that there can be significant carbon emissions in some elements of the PV supply chain, including the use of coal-fired electricity. 

So, even as solar panels are fundamentally “renewable,” and “clean,” there are carbon emissions throughout their supply chain which can undercut sustainability goals and contribute to a larger-than-necessary carbon footprint. These “embodied” supply chain carbon emissions can double the time it takes a project to pay off manufacturing carbon emissions.

Not all solar panels are created equal. Some manufacturers power their highly efficient operations with low carbon energy, resulting in PV modules with about half the emissions as modules made less efficiently with carbon-intensive energy inputs. Using these cleaner modules, which we term, “ultra low-carbon solar” (ULCS), can help solar buyers avoid carbon emissions and accelerate sustainability goals. As corporate end users and governments continue to emphasize ESG goals, ULCS will become a clear solution to help drive those goals home. 

To learn more about the solar supply chain and how market signals can decarbonize it, download “Making Solar Energy Even Cleaner” from Hemlock Semiconductor.

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