Accounting for All the Energy Used to Make a Product


The PV-TV technology is a wonderful innovation, incorporating a couple of concepts in to one product. (“PV-TV: A Multifunctional, Eco-Friendly Building Material”) It looks great at first glance.

But has the Energy Returned over the Energy Invested [EROEI] for these PV panels been calculated? In order to assess the technology’s sustainability, it is absolutely necessary to compare the total energy expected from the technology to the total energy input. If it takes more energy, not monetary cost, to produce the cells than can be expected to be returned over their lifetime, then there is not much point in producing them, except for short-term monetary gain.

All energy inputs need to be included during this assessment of EROEI. For instance, even the energy used in transporting workers to the factories that produce these cells cannot be excluded. Another example of often-excluded energy inputs is the energy required to remove and recycle the manufacturing wastes and that used in decommissioning the manufacturing plants.

I am interested if the EROEI calculations have been done, and if they have been, are the manufacturers prepared to publish these details?

Brian A. Bucktin

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