Solar Panel Industry ESG Thematic Report, 2023

Solar Panel Industry ESG Thematic Report, 2023

Compliance, ESG Challenges & Framework, ESG Trends

  • Published Date: Nov, 2022
  • Report ID: Astra-100127
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Number of Pages: 63

Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) in the Solar Panel Industry

Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) aspects cover critical elements within each parameter that assist companies operating in various industries to minimize risks associated with each of these parameters. This ultimately has a significant positive impact on the environment and the global community.

Solar panels are one of the prominent green sources of energy used around the world. Solar panels help the solar energy system capture the sun's energy to generate clean electricity. These panels are generally made up of silicon semiconductor material.  Other types of panels include thermal panels and concentrating panels. In countries with colder climates, thermal panels are a boon, while concentrating panels use mirrors to focus sunlight on a small area. This ultimately helps create electricity. Solar energy generates green energy and has a positive impact on the environment by minimizing energy bills, helping earn tax credits, and so on. However, it also has several negatives, such as high costs, high space usage, and minimal pollution generated during installation.

ESG Significance

Solar panels, which are a green source of energy, stand out to be an alternate source of energy that has a positive impact on the environment. In addition, they emit fewer emissions. The emissions produced are sourced from the sun which is a natural source of energy, and they help reduce household carbon footprint.

 The industry has seen several innovations, including solar thin films that make it easier to print solar films, and a technology called Hairy solar panel, which uses nanowires that absorb light on carbon nanotube fabric to create a solar panel. Solar energy can be more efficiently absorbed by nanowires, which might lead to better energy harvesting.

The Oil & Gas industry is highly dependent on hydrocarbons, resulting in high ecological footprints. Major Oil & Gas companies such as BP, Chevron, Eni, Shell, and Total among others have invested and support the transition to solar PV. As an alternative to the limited supply of conventional fuels such as natural gas, solar panels providing solar energy is beneficial for addressing this issue. Moreover, solar energy produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than other resources.

ESG Challenges

Despite benefiting consumers economically and eliminating the dependence on power grids, solar panels present multiple problems in terms of ESG, including its unavailability to manufacture and produce solar power at night. The change in the climatic conditions has led to many negative impacts on the environment which is a risk. this panels use the sun as their primary source of energy, weather dependence is another factor as cloudy and rainy conditions reduce their efficiency. In most homes, the infrastructure isn't adequate for solar panels because the size of the panels is one of the primary concerns.

Apart from this, the manufacturing process of solar panels generates pollution as well. The upfront production of this panels involves mining, transportation, and manufacturing, all of which requires substantial energy consumption. Processing of quartz, production of solar-grade silicon, and semiconductor processing presents health and safety risks as well as high emissions that damage the environment. Further, the product end-of-life waste is also a major issue as decommissioning and breaking of solar panels give rise to e-waste. Only 10% of defunct solar panels are recycled. To further handle this, the waste produced from solar panels should be disposed of in such a way that there is no significant impact on the environment.

Growth of the Solar Panel industry

In 2021, the global market for solar PV panels was valued at USD 146.08 billion. Over the next five years, it is expected to grow by 7.8%. Solar panel usage has witnessed an increase in countries with a strategic geographical location which has a maximum exposure to sunlight during a calendar year. These are primarily in the European region and include countries such as Italy and Spain. In North America, as of 2021, the US was the largest market. This research explains key factors associated with solar panels and the solar industry.

Key Companies in this theme

    • Jinko Solar

    • JA Solar

    • Trina Solar

    • LONGi Solar

    • Canadian Solar

    • SunPower Corporation

Scope of the Solar Panel Industry ESG Thematic Report: 

    • Macro-economic and ESG-variable analysis of the industry, including regulatory, policy, and innovation landscape

    • Key insights on infrastructure developments and ESG issues affecting the theme

    • Identify key initiatives and challenges within the industry

    • Identify ESG leaders within the industry

    • Understand key initiatives and the impact of companies within the sector to fuel an informed decision-making process

    • Analysis of industry activities based on multi-media sources, including significant controversies and market sentiment

Key Benefits of Solar Panel Industry ESG Thematic Report:

    • Developing a comprehensive understanding of macro-economic, Policies & Regulations and innovations affecting the industry, globally

    • Key insights into Infrastructure developments and ESG issues affecting the theme

    • Identifying ESG risks and opportunities to business among leading players in the market

    • Obtaining a clear and relevant understanding of company actions, progress, and impact and find opportunities for investment

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