IEA-PVPS Task 12
PV Environmental Health And Safety

What is IEA-PVPS Task 12?

Task 12 is a 5 year long (2007-2011) research project within the framework of IEA-PVPS (the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme) dealing with PV environmental health and safety activities.

The goal of Task 12 is to facilitate a common understanding of EH&S issues among the various country members, and disseminate the Task group’s knowledge and understanding to stakeholders and to energy and environmental policy decision makers.          

Task 12 aims at fostering international collaboration in the areas of safety and sustainability which are crucial for allowing PV to grow and make major contributions to the energy needs of the member countries and the world.  There are both technical and perception issues that need to be addressed.


The overall objectives of the Task are to:

a) Quantify the environmental profile of PV in comparison to other energy technologies.

b) Define and address EH&S and sustainability technical and perception issues that are important for the market growth.

c) Disseminate the results of the EH&S analyses to stakeholders, policy makers and the general public.

The first objective can be served with life cycle analysis (LCA) that describes energy, material and emission flows in all stages of the life of PV. The second objective will be addressed by assisting the collective action of PV companies on defining material availability and product recycling issues and on communicating “lessons learned” from incidents, or preventing incidents in PV production facilities. The third objective (dissemination) will be accomplished by presenting the outcomes to broad audiences, by producing simple fact sheets that are documented by comprehensive reports, and by engaging industry associations (such as the European Photovoltaic Industry Association) and the media in the dissemination of the information.