Printing technologies have become a novel and disruptive innovation method of manufacturing electronic components to produce a diverse range of devices including photovoltaic cells, solar panels, energy harvesters, batteries, light sources, and sensors on really thin, lightweight, and flexible substrates. In traditional electronic manufacturing, a functional layer must be deposited, typically through a chemical vapor or physical vapor process for a copper layer for circuitry production. These subtractive techniques involve multiple production steps and use toxic etching chemicals to remove unwanted photoresist layers and metals. In printing, the same functional material can be selectively deposited only where it is needed on the substrate via plates or print heads. The process is additive and significantly reduces not only the number of manufacturing steps, but also the need for energy, time, consumables, as well as the waste. Thereby, printing has been in the focus for many applications as a green, efficient, energy-saving, environmentally friendly manufacturing method. This chapter presents a general vision on green energy resources and then details printed electronics that consolidates green energy and environment relative to traditional manufacturing system.
Part of the book: Green Energy and Environment