Socio-economic analysis of CHEOPS technologies

Key Facts

  • Vigilance must be expected from industrialists to curb lead emissions to the environment.
  • High environmental and health benefits seem to be expected from a partial substitution of standard PV technologies by CHEOPS technologies.
  • The SEA considering the whole life cycle and 12 categories of impacts (human toxicity, climate change, land use…), this benefit amounts to around 29 k€/GWh of energy produced. (Having in mind that Europe produced 114 TWh of photovoltaic energy in 2016)


Our work consisted in the sum and partial combination of 6 studies:

  • A life-cycle analysis made possible thanks to the data provided by academic and industrial partners.
  • A regulatory watch (including RoHS Directive, WEEE Directive and REACH Regulation).
  • A “risk analysis” providing hazard and exposure considerations, particularly with respect to lead.
  • Three normalised lixiviation tests to estimate potential leakage.
  • One firing test to assess the potential emission of noxious gases.
  • A cost benefit-analysis combining LCA results and economic valuation of impacts.


This study provides elements to understand the “lead issue”, which could a priori be considered as a major obstacle to the future development of the technology.

In a context where strategic priorities for the development of future energy sources are to identified, it is important to propose a global evaluation integrating the impacts (or externalities) that are generally not taken into account in the economic calculation : impacts on health and environment.


The Socio-economic analysis of CHEOPS technologies was conducted by INERIS, SmartGreenScans and
Oxford PV Ltd.

Scientific Output

The result is described in more detail in the deliverable report D3.4 Socio-economic analysis of CHEOPS technologies and benchmarking, available for download under reports.

Read More

The socio-economic analysis was based on the life-cycle analysis of CHEOPS technologies. Please read more about this result here.

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