Environment & Sustainability
The Environmental Benefits of Sustainable Energy Generation:
Generating your own energy on-site helps to reduce CO2 emissions associated with traditional grid supplied electricity or from burning fossil fuels, and therefore helps to alleviate Climate Change.
The embodied energy in a system (the energy used during its manufacture and transportation) is usually offset within 24 – 36 months and this figure is gradually reducing each year as manufacturing becomes more efficient. Once the system has produced the same amount of energy as was used to manufacture it, the remaining energy generated over its life span effectively becomes clean and emissions free.
The majority of the PV array’s structure is aluminium and silicon wafers, both of which are fully recyclable at the end of their life and can be re-made into new PV panels and mounting systems. There is a Europe wide PV recycling initiative promoting proper disposal and recycling of PV panels called PVCycle, which is rapidly expanding in step with the industry.
Please visit www.pvcycle.org for more information about recycling solar PV panels.
A Solar Thermal System is also made primarily of glass tubing and copper heat exchangers, which can also be easily recycled.
Distributed renewable energy systems can be installed very quickly, usually much faster than centralised power stations and transmission systems.