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Assessing Rare Metal Availability Challenges for Solar Energy Technologies
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development. (Global Energy Systems)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development. (Global Energy Systems)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6379-7104
2015 (English)In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 7, no 9, 11818-11837 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Solar energy is commonly seen as a future energy source with significant potential. Ruthenium, gallium, indium and several other rare elements are common and vital components of many solar energy technologies, including dye-sensitized solar cells, CIGS cells and various artificial photosynthesis approaches. This study surveys solar energy technologies and their reliance on rare metals such as indium, gallium, and ruthenium. Several of these rare materials do not occur as primary ores, and are found as byproducts associated with primary base metal ores. This will have an impact on future production trends and the availability for various applications. In addition, the geological reserves of many vital metals are scarce and severely limit the potential of certain solar energy technologies. It is the conclusion of this study that certain solar energy concepts are unrealistic in terms of achieving TW scales.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI AG, 2015. Vol. 7, no 9, 11818-11837 p.
Keyword [en]
solar energy, solar cells, rare metals, material constraints
National Category
Energy Systems Mineral and Mine Engineering Other Environmental Engineering Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in the Science of Global Energy Resources
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-261754DOI: 10.3390/su70911818ISI: 000362553400023OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-261754DiVA: diva2:851163
Available from: 2015-09-03 Created: 2015-09-03 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

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Höök, Mikael

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