In order to make a solar panel or a wind turbine, a few basic inputs are required:
- raw materials
Given the current abundance of renewable resources, I assume that the first three components can feasibly be provided with no carbon emissions.
But what about raw materials?
Are there components of solar panels or wind turbines that directly result in carbon emissions? If so, how much carbon per watt of capacity is emitted in production of these components?
I know that the process currently used to produce concrete results in carbon emissions (see Wikipedia), and that alternative processes have not yet proven to be reliable or affordable at large scale. Are there additional components that also result in some inherent carbon emissions?
For this question, please ignore the impact of land use change as any energy source will require some land, and the emissions level will depend on where the plant is built.
If this question is too broad as written, I'm happy to split up solar and wind into separate questions.