First Solar’s technical article titled “Life Cycle Water Usage in CdTe Photovoltaics” has been published in the IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, a leading international scientific journal. The paper was written by First Solar’s Parikhit Sinha and Amy Meader along with SmartGreenScan’s Mariska de Wild-Scholten. The article documents First Solar’s water footprint over the life cycle of a cadmium telluride photovoltaics (CdTe PV) installation. While energy security and climate change have been important drivers for renewable energy adoption, water security provides an additional driver. For example in the United States, thermoelectric power plants have recently accounted for over 40% of total freshwater withdrawals from all sectors, even more than for agriculture. This energy-water nexus associated with traditional energy sources can be a potential concern, particularly in water-stressed regions. Because solar PV uses little to no water during operation, it provides a promising path forward for addressing the energy-water nexus.
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