Life cycle assessments and external cost estimates of photovoltaics have been often based on old data that do not reflect the extensive technological progress made over the past decade. Our assessment uses current (2004–early 2005) manufacturing data, from twelve European and US photovoltaic companies, and establishes the Energy Payback Times (EPBT), Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and external environmental costs of current commercial PV technologies. Estimates of external costs are about 70% lower than those in recent high-impact publications which were derived from the old data. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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