The Silk® Plus photovoltaic module (400 – 410 Wp) is now available in a carbon neutral version.
Pioneering Carbon Neutrality!
Energy Payback Time vs Carbon Neutrality
A PV module generates much more energy in its life cycle than it is used to produce it. In fact within 1 year (or at most 2 years depending on the location) a PV system gives back all the energy that was used during its manufacturing process. However, like any other product, it has an environmental impact.
At FuturaSun we have voluntarily decided to offer our customers a carbon neutral product. Obligations in this regard will be introduced in the near future, but being true to our motto “anticipate tomorrow”, we want to start now.
The amount of carbon that the mankind can afford to emit into the atmosphere is limited to a few years. That is why every company must take responsibility and make its own contribution to reducing their own emissions.
Science leaves no room for doubt: human activity produces “greenhouse” gases which, by remaining trapped in the atmosphere, cause average temperatures on the Earth to rise. If we do not put concrete and measurable actions in place, higher and higher temperatures are forecasted, with extreme and unpredictable climate scenarios. That is why it is important to act now!
Reducing our carbon footprint
FuturaSun, which has always been attentive to the environmental aspects of its operations, now wants to make its commitment official by setting both short- and medium- to long-term goals for what concerns the reduction of its emissions.
Our experts are already working to lower the emissions of all our products: from the extraction of raw materials, to their processing and the production of FuturaSun PV modules. We are confident that technology will help us to be increasingly efficient not only in module performance but also in reducing their environmental impact.
In particular, we participate in the European project IBC4EU, where in a specific task we are working to reduce the module footprint thanks to the following actions:
– less energy-intensive production process thanks to the new stringer we are developing;
– higher yield of plants thanks to bifaciality;
– other materials for cell screen printing (copper instead of silver alloy).
Also, our R&D team is studying solutions to have frames in other materials, recyclable like aluminum, but less energy intensive.
As for our BIPV (building integrated photovoltaics) products, these are modules that can be used in place of other cladding materials for dual energy/aesthetic purposes, where otherwise only traditional materials would have been used without energy payback.
Among new developments, we have recently introduced the Velvet heterojunction module: this technology allows for a smaller carbon footprint at the cell level and consequently at the module level.
Regarding the packaging of our products, they are constantly being optimized to increase the total power transported in the same container. Today we put twice as many Watts in a container comparing to 10 years ago.
Measured and Neutralized
We measured the carbon footprint of our Silk® Plus panel for the power range 400-410 Wp through an LCA study carried out according to ISO 14025. We therefore made the choice to offset the emissions that cannot be removed immediately, through a carbon credits offsetting project – a certified carbon reduction mechanism.
Carbon emission offsetting is an activity that allows you to compensate the remaining emissions after reduction efforts. This is possibile thanks to carbon credits generated by special certified projects. The projects aim at absorbing or avoiding CO2 emissions in different parts of the world.
Our project in Kenya
The project we have chosen is aimed at building an aqueduct in Kenya, which, thanks to a 45 kW FuturaSun photovoltaic system, will provide drinking water to about 50,000 people. We decided to participate in the project not simply by purchasing credits from the market, but rather in a structural way by becoming an active partner in the project for its whole duration.
Safe water for 50,000 people
Until now, the people of Siaya County on Lake Victoria have been drinking unsafe water: the lucky ones could afford to boil it, using inefficient methods, contributing to the deforestation in the area. Women and children will no longer have to spend up to 3 hours every day to fetch water. Instead, they will be able get it at the distribution point near their homes. In addition to reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, this project will significantly improve the living conditions of local people.
The project with both environmental and social significance is certified by Gold Standard under the number GS11544 and will generate about 15,000 carbon credits per year for 15 years.
Gold Standard is a certifying body that establishes requirements for implementing projects for positive climate impact and simultaneous improvement of people’s living conditions.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are achieved through our project (assigned to the project by the certifying body) are the following: