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Sustainability of our products

TÜV Rheinland certified - Ultra-low carbon footprint

Thanks to our efforts to achieve sustainability, our organic solar film HeliaSol has an ultra-low carbon footprint. The German testing institute TÜV Rheinland has certified the carbon footprint to be 14.52 kg CO2-equivalent (CO2e) per square metre in a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The total environmental impact arising from the procurement of raw materials, production, use and disposal of the product were assessed. Our organic solar films have an environmental impact of between 3 and 15 g CO2e per kilowatt hour, depending on the solar irradiation of a location. More detailed information is available in thewhite paper "Truly Green Energy - Ultra-Low Carbon Footprint" and in our HeliaFacts on the ultra-low carbon footprint.

Truly green energy

Sustainable and innovative energy production is essential to fight climate change. Heliatek's organic photovoltaics (OPV) is not only the greenest of all solar technologies, but also one of the cleanest electricity generating technologies.

This makes it a key technology as we move towards a sustainable future.

When compared to electricity generation from conventional fossil fuels such as coal, the generation of energy using our innovative organic solar film saves up to 1,000 g CO2e in greenhouse gas emissions for each kilowatt hour generated.

Greenhouse gas emissions are paid back 10 times faster

 

Every product releases greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during its entire life cycle, i.e. the phases of production, use and disposal. The so-called Carbon Payback Time (CPBT) is the time a product takes to pay back the GHG emissions released during its life cycle by avoiding emissions. The higher the amount of emissions avoided, the higher the CO2e savings potential. By generating electricity using our solar film and avoiding the generation of electricity using a mix of coal and natural gas, up to 678 g CO2e per kilowatt hour can be saved. The CPBT of Heliatek's OPV at many locations is just 1 to 5 months. This means that GHG emissions can be paid back around 10 times faster compared with silicon-based solar modules. For more information, please read ourHeliaFacts on Carbon Payback Time.

Energy used is paid back in less than 6 months

 

Perhaps you have heard of Energy Return on Investment (EROI)? It was developed to determine the ratio of invested primary energy to the energy generated. The higher the EROI, the more positive is the energy effect and the shorter is the so-called Energy Payback Time (EPBT). The EPBT indicates the time it takes for a product to pay back the primary energy requirement throughout its life cycle by means of electricity generation. The EPBT of Heliatek's OPV ranges between 2 and 7 months worldwide (majority of all global locations below 6 months). This means that HeliaSol can generate up to 100 times more energy within a lifetime of 20 years than the energy required for its life cycle. You will find consolidated facts and further information on the subject in HeliaFacts on Energy Payback Time.

Product responsibility

Taking responsibility for the environmental impact caused by the procurement of raw materials, production, use and disposal – this is what Heliatek understands by product responsibility. Our Dresden site uses an energy-efficient roll-to-roll production process with low material consumption.It takes only 1 gram of organic material to produce one square metre of solar film. We do not use scarce raw materials, rare earth elements or toxic heavy metals such as lead or cadmium. As a result, disposal of our films at the end of their life is easy and environmentally friendly. By comparison, the production of one kilo of beef generates 24 kg CO2e and the carbon footprint of a German citizen is 10 tonnes CO2e per year.

We thereby address an important concern of solar energy. It goes without saying that photovoltaic systems produce green and clean electricity. However, their production and also their disposal can consume a lot of energy and resources. We have taken up the challenge of making solar power generation a greener process throughout the product life cycle.