Saturday, June 26, 2010

Embedded energy of solar electric modules

A client of mine had heard that it took as much energy to make a solar electric system as that system would produce in its life. I am happy to report that after considerable research of the available published studies on this question, solar modules have an "energy payback" of only 2 to 6 years. Since they last over 30 years, this means a minimum of 5 times the energy consumption in production...and up to 15 times perhaps.

It should also be noted that the alternative, consuming fossil fuels, has an infinite payback, and a negative result of increasing pollution and global warming (not to mention the occasional environmental disaster such as the Gulf mess).