Hemp – the low THC (low drug) version of cannabis – can be turned into building materials to replace timber used in “chip and pulp” industries. It makes hempcrete and hemp insulation blocks. It’s a low impact, low water crop that can also remediate toxic soils, and it grows super-fast! It’s too bulky to transport too far before processing, so it encourages local processing jobs to stay in the rural areas that needs them. The Conservationist in me loves this!
“The Victorian government made the shock announcement on May 23 that native logging would end by January 1, almost seven years ahead of schedule. Processors in Gippsland could replace timber with hemp, says Darren Christie, president of the non-profit industry organisation iHemp Victoria. This would maintain employment and financial stability for logging communities while offering a solution to building supply shortages, he says.”
According to a third-party study, the projected output over the 40-year warranty period of Maxeon solar panels exceeds the energy demand of manufacturing them by over 100-fold. Plus, more details from the Maxeon 2021 sustainability report.
Maxeon’s IBC solar cells have a 40-year warranty in key markets outside the U.S.
Image: Maxeon Solar Technologies
Maxeon Solar Technologies, a major PV module producer based in Singapore, 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
Maxeon shared in its 2021 sustainability report that it delivered 899 MW of clean energy in 2021, namely its solar 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.
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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Hi all, While the podcast I linked to yesterday included David Murphy being interviewed about EROEI, it also ended with an encouraging section on renewables news. Did you know that so many solar panel FACTORIES are being built that by 2025 they will be able to produce 2.5 million metric tonnes of solar. That’s about 940 GW of solar every year – or the same as the TOTAL solar in the world built till the end of 2022 – but being built EVERY YEAR! This is FOUR times as much solar as was built in 2022. It’s enough to meet 5.8% of the world’s electricity demand. It’s well in excess of the 630 GW solar per year that the IEA wants to meet the world’s 2050 deadlines. They explain that just because the capacity is there doesn’t mean all those panels will immediately be deployed, as there are various permitting hurdles and other market things that can go wrong. But it’s encouraging. 5.8% from 2025 basically ALL THE WORLD’S power in 17 years, so from 2025 that’s 2042. But then almost every other kind of renewable energy is also accelerating – and we’re going to need it as we Electrify Everything and replace most transport fuels and industry with electric variations.
Also, Editing note. Ignore the email version of yesterday’s post – as the writing was clunky. I was juggling too many things and rushed it. The ideas were strewn all over the place and needed me to collate them and tidy it up under an extra heading or so. Apologies for the mess. (Much like my life lately – holding down a day job, renovating my house, building a granny-flat for some relatives to move into, fixing up our bedroom AND maintaining some kind of family life are all taking their toll!.)
But there’s just so many exciting market driven renewables stories lately – who can keep on top of it all?
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