Germany looking to capture PV recycling market

Representatives from Frankfurt (Oder) and Eisenhüttenstadt are currently attending the 2nd International Conference on PV Module Recycling in Madrid, Spain, in an attempt to promote the East Brandenburg region as a prime investment location for PV recycling.

According to Martin Wilke, lord mayor of Frankfurt (Oder), and Dagmar Püschel, mayor of Eisenhüttenstadt, the region is well positioned for PV recycling companies due to its "expertise" in both PV and recycling, and its "excellent" funding quotas.

"PV recycling is considered a future growth market within the booming solar value chain," stated Lord Mayor Wilke. "Right now only defective and damaged solar modules have to be recycled, but that will soon change dramatically when the life cycle of the large systems installed in the 1990s comes to an end.

"The production waste generated during the manufacture of the modules is also a candidate for recycling. Right now about 13 percent of all solar modules made in Germany come from Frankfurt (Oder). That number is expected to rise to 18 percent when First Solar opens its second factory here. It is important for the region to position itself in the solar recycling market early on."

Mayor Püschel added that the Frankfurt (Oder)/Eisenhüttenstadt region offers an "outstanding" investment environment for companies in the growing PV recycling industry. "For one," she explained, "we already have several leading national and international companies from the solar and recycling industries, including Conergy, First Solar, Odersun, ALBA and 5N PV. The region therefore has access to the necessary key competencies and to business partners throughout the value chain."

She added: "The region provides investors with highly qualified personnel, outstanding educational and research institutions, and a high-capacity transportation and waste-disposal infrastructure – all right in the center of Europe."

The East Brandenburg region additionally offers a number of investment subsidies, including GRW funding, which provides assistance of up to 50 percent, and the Brandenburg Kredit program, which is government-guaranteed and backed by the KfW banking group.

The 2nd International Conference on PV Module Recycling, held today in Madrid, is organized by the European Photovoltaics Industry Association and PV Cycle. It is designed to provide a platform for experts from all over Europe looking to discuss the benefits of PV recycling.

Watch out for more on this topic in the February edition of pv magazine.