OVER 30,000 TONNES of solar photovoltaic (PV) waste has been processed by the solar industry’s recycling organisation, PV Cycle since its launch.
Founded by and for the PV industry in Europe in 2007, the not-for-profit organisation was launched to tackle European solar PV waste management from solar rooftop panels and solar farms, which typically have a lifetime of 25 years. The organisation collects used solar panels and components from manufacturers, importers and end users.
At the end of 2017, PV Cycle launched a global membership category to extend the complete recycling of solar panels beyond European territories.
Since then, PV Cycle has shown its commitment to offer international PV waste management by collecting and processing 3 tonnes of end-of-life PV modules from Panama and more than 25 tonnes from Senegal.
These modules are treated mainly with mechanical processes, including grinding, sorting and refining etc, which, PV Cycle says, has been proven as the most feasible and cost-efficient recycling solution. After processing, the panels become raw materials such as glass, aluminium, copper, and plastics, which can be used for the production of new materials and products.
By 2030, 150,000 tonnes of PV modules will reach the end of their life, according to the organisation.
“The photovoltaic industry is entering a new era. It is time to realize that producing green energy from solar panels, but abandoning the used materials does not make sense for the environment. At PV Cycle we are looking for PV waste and decreasing its environmental footprint all around the globe,” says Bertrand Lempkowicz, Communication Manager.