Photo: Daniel Phillips, Flickr CC BY 2.0

Last year, solar power became the fastest growing source of new energy, surpassing all other forms of power generation. Yet, despite the huge benefits of solar energy and its fundamental role in future energy development, there is also a need to understand how the growing demand for photovoltaic (PV) cells and energy storage technology will impact sustainability.

Photo: Daniel Phillips, Flickr CC BY 2.0

A report published by Levin Sources on Solar Energy (December 2017) investigates the supply chain risks associated with PV cells. The report looks into sustainability issues in the sourcing, processing and disposing of minerals used in PV cells and the importance of supply chain governance.

This also documents the main supply chain risks associated with minerals, focusing on Health & Safety; Land Rights; Water Rights; Biodiversity; Labour Rights; Waste Management; and Pollution.

The report highlights the need to understand and govern supply chain risks volved the sourcing, processing and disposal of minerals used in PV cells. In addition, given the pressure that growing solar energy demand will put on mineral supply chains, it is important to increase supply chain transparency so that risks can be better identified and managed. In doing so, assessing the social and environmental impacts related to PV cells should be balanced with innovation and development in the solar energy field to reduce the supply chain risks associated with PV cells.

Read the full report here.