A team of researchers from the University of Sheffield, alongside collaborators from the universities of Kent, Nottingham and Leicester, has investigated and confirmed the potential for Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) in addressing global environmental challenges.

The team compared PSCs with other existing photovoltaic technologies, including an examination of the kind of materials used in their production, the difficulty of manufacturing them, and costs involved in producing and manufacturing them. They also carried out a systematic hybrid life cycle assessment of PSCs, meaning that every aspect associated with PCSs, including greenhouse gas emission, material use, land use, pollution and toxicology, was considered.

The team found PSCs are a more environmentally friendly, sustainable option for generating energy and they were shown to have the shortest energy payback period of all solar technologies tested in the study.

Professor Ian Reaney, from the University of Sheffield's Department of Materials Science and Engineering, explained: "In science we make a lot of assumptions about the environmental credentials of new technologies. With hybrid life cycle assessment, we can make rational decisions based on quantitative data and it is now clear that PSCs are a potential game changer for the solar cell community".