Energy Costs of Constructing Solar Assets

This data-file quantifies the energy costs of manufacturing solar panels, based on 10 studies and prior projects.

We see the average solar project requiring 5MWH/kW, with a 2.3-year energy payback, a c10x energy-return on energy-invested and CO2-intensity of 90kg/boe (for contrast, average oil is c440kg/boe and average gas is c350kg/boe).

The data-file contains calculations and data on different, individual studies, and estimates the net impact of solar on fossil fuel demand – past and present – after reflecting the net energy costs of solar manufacturing.

Comparable data for wind projects is linked here.

Energy Costs of Constructing Wind Assets

This data-file reviews 10 technical papers, in order to estimate the energy costs of manufacturing 1kW of wind turbines (in MWH/kW), the payback time to recoup that energy (in years) and the ultimate energy return on energy invested (EROEI).

The average CO2 intensity of wind turbines is suggested at around 13g/kWh, based on papers that disclosed this number.

Although one observation from reviewing the papers is that their methodologies are rough and may have under-estimated total energy intensities, especially around waste materials.

Comparable data for solar assets is linked here.

Copyright: Thunder Said Energy, 2022.