Photovoltaic industry has proved to be a growing and advantageous source of energy as it can be renewable, sustainable, reliable and clean. Significant improvements have been made in materials used and the production processes to reduce the costs, and to avoid possible issues induced by some hazardous materials. However, some health and environment challenges last, which must be overcome to make this technology a source of truly clean energy. This chapter provides an overview on the major environmental impacts of thin film technology associated with the use of toxic materials and the chemicals in the manufacturing processes. A summary of Environmental, Health and Safety issues associated with some thin film technologies like copper indium gallium diselenide (CIS/CIGS), cadmium telluride (CdTe) and amorphous silicon (a-Si) is done, in order to investigate potential infections induced by the environmental release of trace elements, usually coming from chemical vapor inhalation and eventually accidental spills during the manufacturing processes, on the health of humans and animals. Potential solutions will be provided to prevent some environmental issues.
Part of the book: Reliability and Ecological Aspects of Photovoltaic Modules