Task 12: PV Environmental Health & Safety

The goal of Task 12 is to facilitate a common understanding of EH&S issues among the various country-members, and disseminate the task-group’s knowledge and understanding to the stake holders and to the energy- and environmental policy decision makers.

IT aims to foster international collaboration in the areas of safety and sustainability which are crucial for allowing PV to grow to levels enabling a major contribution in the needs of the member countries and the world. They are both technical and perception issues that need be addressed.

The Australian Representative for this Task is Dr Jose Bilbao. More information on this task is available here.

Task 12 is divided in the following 4 Subtasks: 

Subtask 1 Recycling of Manufacturing Waste and Spent Modules 

This subtask addresses the following objectives: 

  • Assist the development of collection infrastructure by examining and evaluating the collection infrastructure of other recyclables (e.g., electronics, liquid crystal displays) 
  • Enhance the interaction among industry players so that they share information and resources for collection and recycling 
  • Show the technical and cost feasibility of collection and recycling (to environmental-policy makers, e.g., WEEE, RoHS) 
  • Identify common tasks where financial resources can be shared (e.g., separation of EVA from the module). 

Subtask 2 Life Cycle Assessment 

This subtask aims the next targets: 

  • Establish and demonstrate, with comprehensive and transparent studies over the full life cycle, that PV systems are environmentally friendly compared to other energy systems. 
  • Show the improvement trends of the PV environmental profile by certain indicators (e.g., EPBT, GHG emissions, waste reduction, materials’ recycling/recovery). 
  • Continue showing such progress in annual updates over the course of Task 12 (5 years). 
  • Valuate the environmental benefits of PV by showing avoided impacts or avoided “external” costs. 

Subtask 3 EH&S in Manufacturing Facilities 

The main objectives within this subtask are: 

  • Develop risk factors and compare with other energy technologies 
  • Identify accident prevention and control options for specific technologies 
  • Identify pollution control technologies for major types of PV manufacturing facilities 
  • Identify prevention and control strategies for green-house gases (GHG) in PV manufacturing facilities 

Subtask 4 EHS Information Dissemination 

Task 12 status reports can be found in the annual reports of the IEA PVPS Programme.