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Contact: Jared Sagoff
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

Years Pay Back

Caption: The chart shows the number of years that a solar panel must operate in order to generate enough electricity to "pay back" the energy used to make the panel. Because there are fewer energy regulations in China, panels made there use more energy, according to the study. The colors in the bars represent contributions from the different stages of making a solar panel (e.g., 'Si feedstock' represents the carbon emitted during mining and processing of raw silicon to make the panel).

Credit: Figure by Fengqi You et. al.

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Related news release: Solar panel manufacturing is greener in Europe than China, study says

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