PV Magazine USA: On the Road to High-value Recycling, Storage is Ahead of Solar

Apr 16, 2020

From the Article

The Covid-19 pandemic has stakeholders across the renewable energy sector thinking about supply chains and how to maintain them — which makes it an opportune moment to also talk about recycling.

The idea of circularity — that is, creating a closed-loop supply chain — has recently gained traction in the solar and energy storage industries, both of which face daunting recycling problems. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) and International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), by 2030, an estimated 1.7 million metric tons of solar panels per year will need to be disposed of in the U.S. alone; by 2050, that figure could balloon to 60 million to 78 million metric tons.

The potential is enormous — if properly recycled, 1.7 million metric tons of panels could produce enough raw materials to make 60 million, or 18 GW, of new panels.

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