Subject The article considers the issues of production base development for solar energy in Russia and process chain creation, which can meet the growing demand of the domestic market and, in the long run, approach international photovoltaics markets. Objectives The purpose of the study is to assess negative impact of various photovoltaic (PV) technologies on environment to select and support the most ecologically friendly production, standardize and identify the best available technologies. Methods We assess the negative impact of rival PV technologies on environment, using the Life Cycle Analysis technique. Based on the CML 2001 methodology, we select the categories and quantifiable indicators of the impact. Comparative evaluation of integrated eco-efficiency of rival PV technologies was carried out using the Data Envelopment Analysis. Results We found that cadmium telluride and copper indium selenide photovoltaic panels on film solar cells are the most ecologically efficient throughout the life cycle. Economic indicators that determine the preference of one or another technology at the same level of environmental friendliness can be derived from standard procedures for techno-economic analysis. For the rest of the PV technologies, we calculated target values of fifteen indicators of negative environmental impact, which, if achieved, provide for their eco-efficiency. Conclusions The findings can be applied to design and amend State programs for solar energy development in Russia.
Keywords: Life Cycle Analysis, LCA, ecological effect, solar energy, Data Envelopment Analysis
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