Upfront Embodied Carbon of PV and Solar Hot Water Systems


I am looking for information on embodied carbon for solar renewable energy systems to evaluate in context of the offset fossil fuels through those systems. For PV I have found some info here:

Does anybody have embodied carbon info on solar hot water system?
Are there EPDs for those types of systems?


There is some data for Solar Water Heaters in OneClickLCA:
0.0015 kg CO2e per Liter hot water produced
0.0203 kg Co2e per kWh hot water produced


Thanks Boris

Hi Jens,

I have been doing some similar thinking on the steel, concrete, and aluminum heavy transmission infrastructure needed to accommodate more renewables and electrification. See two reports on T&D lifecycle analysis and one on the level of T investment needed. Can we offset some of that with lower embodied carbon EE in buildings? I think so.

Life cycle cost analysis of transmission and distribution systems.pdf (407.6 KB) Embodied carbon dioxide of network assets in a decarbonised electricity grid.pdf (1.3 MB)

Just added tag to this as PV and Solar. Search for earlier posting on Solar to see a report on the topic.


I have some papers that might be helpful if you like? They mostly look at the LCA of solar water heaters.

Hi Ruth, I am very interested in LCA of solar hot water, it would be great if you could point out to me how I can access… Thank you, Jens

Hopefully you can get the papers from these. The focus is mainly on domestic water heating but they’re not US studies.


https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.12.150 - This one is very thorough

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2017.04.065 - On concentrating solar, so larger scale applications




Hope that helps :slight_smile:

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