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Energy output is over 100 times the input needed to manufacture solar panels

Energy output is over 100 times the input needed to manufacture solar panels

Powering EV charging stations with agrivoltaics Leiendo Energy output is over 100 times the input needed to manufacture solar panels 7 minutos Siguiente OPES Solutions integriert Photovoltaik-Module in Reisemobile von Westfalia

Energy output is over 100 times the input needed to manufacture solar panels


From pv magazine USA

Maxeon Solar Technologies, a major PV module producer based in Singapore that also sells the SunPower brand in the United States, revealed the results of a third-party energy payback performance evaluation of its Maxeon 3 panels in its 2021 annual sustainability report. 

Energy payback is the period required for a renewable energy system to generate the same amount of energy that was used to produce the system itself. The assessment considers the cumulative energy demand over all the life cycle stages of solar panels and considers local grid efficiencies for different global locations. 

The test found that Maxeon 3 solar panels had an energy payback period ranging from 0.13 to 0.45 years for ground mounted modules, and 0.27 to 0.92 years for a residential rooftop system. For ground mounted panels, the energy payback period can be as little as 47.5 days. 

Spread over the 40-year performance warranty on the panels, the energy output exceeds the input more than 100 times over its lifetime, marking a significant milestone for the sustainability of PV technology.

“Maxeon strives to maintain its sustainability leadership position in the solar industry by continuing our development of more efficient, sustainable and longer-lasting panels that can ensure easy access to solar for all. As more countries and corporations pledge to achieve net-zero emissions, renewable energy will play a pivotal role in enabling this transition. Maxeon is delighted to be a key player in the race to achieving net-zero by supporting the growing demand for solar energy coupled with social and governance best practices.” Jeff Waters, Chief Executive Officer of Maxeon Solar Technologies

Sustainability Report 2021

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Maxeon shared in its 2021 sustainability report that it delivered 899 MW of clean energy in 2021, namely its Maxeon and SunPower brand panels. The company’s impact led to over 52 million tons of carbon emissions abatement that year.

It committed to decreasing both the energy intensity and carbon intensity of manufacturing its panels from 2020 levels by 10% in 2025 and 20% in 2030. It also seeks to cut water use by 5% and waste creation by 20% by 2030.

Image: Maxeon Solar Technologies

For social goals in its ESG report, the company reported an industry-leading low rate of workplace safety incidences, and it has zero cases of non-compliance with human rights laws. It seeks to boost its traceability even further by 2025 by putting its supply information on blockchain, making supplier data is available within 4 hours of inquiry.

In 2021 the manufacturer introduced the Air panel, a thin, flexible module designed to adhere to low weight load bearing commercial roofs, which the company said represents a 4 GW market unserved by traditional solar panels that are too heavy for such structures.

The panel manufacturer also announced it joined the Singapore Low Carbon Network as an inaugural member as part of PwC Singapore’s Asia Pacific Centre for Sustainability Excellence. It formed new partnerships with Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore and National University of Singapore for continued advancement of its technology.

“With less than ten years left to meet the UN’s 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, renewable energy will be a key engine powering both Singapore’s and the world’s decarbonization agenda. We warmly welcome Maxeon Solar Technologies to the United Nations Global Compact and look forward to working alongside them to take decisive action for the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Esther Chang, Executive Director, Global Compact Network Singapore.

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