Copper, cobalt, lithium… we are set to be increasingly reliant on metals due to the large-scale roll-out of renewable energies and new forms of mobility. According to economist Emmanuel Hache, who heads the ANR GENERATE project, this reliance could lead to shifts in the balances of power and even growing tensions on the international stage.
The aims of this report are to:
• bring together existing evidence on the environmental impact of BEVs across the stages of their life cycle, undertaking where possible comparison with internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs);
• consider how a move to a circular economy could reduce these impacts.
Researchers in Australia have conducted a ‘cradle to grave’ life cycle assessment (LCA) of the four most widely used PV technologies. The academics say that cadmium telluride solar modules have the lowest life cycle impact, followed by amorphous, multi and monocrystalline silicon products.
Dealing with composite waste from decommissioned wind turbine blades will become a major issue in the coming years. This study aims to determine the most sustainable disposal method for Irish blade waste in the next ten years by using life cycle assessment to compare three scenarios: Co-processing in cement kilns in Germany, co-processing in Ireland, and landfill in Ireland. The results of this study establish a baseline impact scenario with which to compare future repurposing solutions, which are higher on the European Waste Hierarchy
Solar and Wind energy are growing at a truly astonishing pace on every continent. But in the race for global supremacy in the power generation sector have we neglected to consider how we will deal with millions of panels and turbines when they come to the end of their useful lives? Are we storing up yet another environmental problem?