EU solar manufacturers must show willing on circular approach to secure funding


The European Commission has confirmed natural gas projects will qualify for funding under the EU's Covid-19 recovery plans and has outlined the circular manufacturing and eco design principles which will be expected of solar manufacturers within the bloc.

The commission has published a delegated regulation to the Regulation (EU) 2020/852 produced by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers, which outlines the legal definition of whether economic activities in the bloc qualify for financial support by virtue of contributing to climate change mitigation or adaptation, and by causing “no significant harm” to environmental objectives.

The dense legal document contains few surprises for solar and energy storage project developers as it mentions simply expected requirements that relevant environmental studies be conducted and permits secured.

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However, with the European solar industry attempting to reshore PV manufacturing within the bloc, producers must demonstrate they have assessed and, where feasible, implemented circular manufacturing processes. The document states such measures will include the use and reuse of secondary raw materials and recovered components and design of equipment for durability, recyclability, easy disassembly and high adaptability. Waste management processes associated with solar manufacturing should also, where feasible, prioritize recycling over disposal, according to the regulation which was dated on Friday.

The document also confirms “gaseous and liquid fuels” can qualify for EU financial assistance provided they produce direct greenhouse gas emissions of less than 270g of CO2 or equivalent per kilowatt-hour generated.

Circular manufacturing

Circular manufacturing was the focus of pv magazine‘s last UP initiative quarterly theme. We examined whether adopting circular approaches could create a competitive edge and reap financial and reputational rewards. We also investigated what is already being done in the solar industry. Browse our coverage here.

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