Managing solar PV waste in India


From pv magazine India

A new report, backed by the Indian government, says that solar panel producers (instead of end owners) should be held accountable for PV waste.

The “PV Waste Management in India” report was prepared as part of an EU-India technical cooperation project on renewable energy and energy efficiency in India, with the support of the country's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). The National Solar Energy Federation of India and SolarPower Europe, along with European recycling association PV Cycle, also contributed to the report. It makes recommendations based on experience with extended producer responsibility policy approaches for PV modules in several European countries. 

PV modules and inverters are not currently covered by the Indian E-Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, as such rules only apply to (i) information technology and telecom equipment and (ii) consumer electrical and electronics products. PV modules and inverters are not listed in these electrical and electronic equipment categories.

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The report recommends creating legislation for PV modules in India, separately from its e-waste rules. Such a law could make producers responsible for PV modules and other PV system products, such as inverters and batteries

The report said that PV waste collection is currently insignificant in India, given that solar PV modules generally last 30 years or longer. It also noted that the nation installed just 570,000 tons of PV modules before the end of 2016. Most PV modules – 2,175,000 tons – were installed in the 2017-19 period.

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