A preliminary study on potential for very large-scale photovoltaic power generation (VLS-PV) system in the Gobi desert from economic and environmental viewpoints

Masakazu Ito, Kazuhiko Kato, Hiroyuki Sugihara, Tetsuo Kichimi, Jinsoo Song, Kosuke Kurokawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Citations (Scopus)


A 100 MW very large-scale photovoltaic power generation (VLS-PV) system is designed assuming that it will be installed in the Gobi desert, which is one of the major deserts in the world. Array arrangement, array support, foundation, wiring, and so on are designed in detail. Then energy payback time (EPT), life-cycle CO2 emission rate and generation cost of the system are estimated based on the methodology of life-cycle analysis. As a result of the estimation, 1.7 year of EPT and 12g C/kWh of CO2 emission rate are obtained. These show that VLS-PV in the Gobi desert would be very promising for the global energy and environmental issues. The generation cost is calculated at 8.6cent/kWh assuming that PV module price is one US $/W and system lifetime is 30 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-517
Number of pages11
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Desert
  • Economic analysis
  • Energy pay-back
  • Environment effect
  • PV system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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