Photovoltaic is one promising renewable energy technology for a future sustainable energy supply. The photovoltaic sector accordingly undertakes numerous efforts to reduce production costs and increase efficiency.
As a result various substances can be used as semiconductors in photovoltaics. This variety has gained particular importance in the field of thin-film cells. In this application, especially cadmium telluride (CdTe) is used as an alternative to silicon. The use of gallium arsenide, indium phosphide and other substances that sometimes promise significantly higher efficiencies are discussed for future developments.
Some of these substances raise toxicological concerns, which also applies to a number of other input materials such as lead used in solders. The use of such substances in electrical and electronic equipment is therefore regulated by the EC Directive 2002/95/EC (RoHS). PV is, however, not yet covered by the RoHS.
Against this background, it should be discussed whether it is necessary to extend the scope of the RoHS directive to PV.