Multi Criteria Analysis Ranking of Solar Photovoltaic Modules Manufacturing Countries by an Importing Country: A Case of Uganda
Although solar photovoltaic systems do not emit greenhouse gases (GHG) during their operation lifetime, their manufacturing, transportation, and construction involves energy use and GHG emissions. In this study a life cycle assessment as well as economics analysis of the solar modules from manufacturing to delivery of the final product were evaluated. A multi-criteria analysis (MCA) ranking methodology for solar photovoltaic module manufacturing countries by an importing country based on the modified VIKOR technique was proposed. Uganda, a developing country in sub-Saharan Africa was considered as the country that intends to import solar photovoltaic modules from six (6) selected overseas module manufacturing countries. The results revealed that the solar PV system would have an energy payback time and GHG payback time in the range of 1.32–3.28 years and 0.69–3.19 years, respectively, due to the high solar irradiance received in Uganda. The importation cost incurred are in the range of 37.10–46.38c$/Wp for a functional unit of 50 kW capacity solar photovoltaic system. The MCA ranking results indicated that Brazil is the best choice module manufacturing country for Uganda to import modules from. The proposed methodology is replicable and applicable in any country for the decision-making process.