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ERE Seminar: Garvin Heath (NREL) | "A Circular Economy for Photovoltaics: Review of Recent NREL..."

Monday, Apr 26, 2021 11:30 AM
Virtual Meeting via Zoom (see login details in Description)
More Info:
ERE Seminar: Garvin Heath (NREL) | "A Circular Economy for Photovoltaics: Revie…
Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni/Friends
Energy Resources Engineering

Garvin Heath | Senior Environmental Scientist and Energy Analyst at National Renewable Energy Lab

"A Circular Economy for Photovoltaics: Review of Recent NREL Research"

Circular economy (CE) aims to keep products at their highest value, including constituent materials once end of life is reached. NREL has made CE one of its three strategic goals over the next decade, and conceives CE for energy systems as “Enabling resource sustainability and resiliency for the emerging critical supply chains related to domestic decarbonized energy systems, by emphasizing a circular economy which helps to meet the nation’s energy, environmental quality, economic prosperity, and social justice goals.”* NREL’s research on photovoltaics has been at the leading edge of this CE focus. Dr. Heath will review some of the CE-related PV research he has led, both at NREL and with international colleagues through IEA PVPS Task 12. From an R&D roadmap for crystalline silicon PV recycling technology development to human health risk assessments and life cycle assessments to policy analysis and agent-based modeling of the development of CE pathways and markets, there’s been a lot of activity on PV CE, and of course a lot more work to do.

Dr. Garvin Heath is a Distinguished Member of the Research Staff at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (USA) specializing in the analysis of environmental impacts of energy systems – renewable and conventional, electricity and fuels. Using the tools of life cycle assessment, air quality modeling and sustainability analysis, he has led research that has developed novel methods for quantifying environmental impacts, frequently in collaboration with Prof Adam Brandt.

For the last 8 years, Dr. Heath has led the International Energy Agency’s Photovoltaic Power Systems Task 12 (Sustainability) where the US has gained valuable insight and lessons from countries with more experience in recycling and the circular economy of PV modules. He led development of a PV recycling technology R&D Roadmap for the US Department of Energy (a Nature EnergyPerspective), helped develop a new, ANSI voluntary Sustainability Leadership Standard for PV Module manufacturing (including end of life management), and has been advising several U.S. states considering voluntary and regulatory responses to PV end of life management challenges (a recent of these policies here). Recently, he has been co-leading investigations of behavioral evolution using agent-based modeling for circular economy of PV (preprint), wind and hard disc drives.

*For Stanford Affiliates outside of Energy Resources Engineering, please contact Emily Gwynn ( for the Zoom login info.

**For those in the Energy Resources Engineering, you will receive an announcement from Emily Gwynn ( with the Zoom login info.

2019 Webby Award Nominee

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