Environmental impact of photovoltaic electrification in rural areas

Varho, V. (2002). Environmental impact of photovoltaic electrification in rural areas. Energy & Environment 13 (1) 81-104. 10.1260/0958305021501092.

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The environmental impact of photovoltaics (PV) is discussed to ascertain how well it can aid solving the dual problem of meeting the demand for electricity in rural areas and of mitigating the energy-related environmental problems. It is noted that all emissions from PV are indirect and result mainly from the energy used in producing PV equipment. They are compared with the emissions that can be offset by the use of PV. It is concluded that PV is environmentally benign, and in some cases the cheapest way of providing electricity in rural areas. Nevertheless, its currently high costs and small electric capacity mean that there are cheaper and more effective methods for solving environmental problems in the short run. It is observed, however, that the costs of emission abatement are much higher if only the emissions from existing energy uses that are replaced by PV are considered than if the emissions and costs of alternative power production methods that are offset are also included. In the longer run, PV is seen to have very high potential for growth, lower costs, and environmental benefits. Issues affecting the success of PV dissemination in rural areas of developing countries are discussed, and policy suggestions are given.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Environmentally Compatible Energy Strategies (ECS)
Bibliographic Reference: Energy & Environment; 13(1):81-104 (24) [2002]
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:14
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:37
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/6615

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