Rivalry is an integral part of the global business landscape, particularly in an industry like solar where products have become commodities. However, as Steven Davies, EMEA market manager for DuPont Teijin Films underlines, when it comes to sustainability, cross-industry partnerships are increasingly necessary to overcome the challenges companies are facing, including changing consumer demands and supply chain risks posed from climate change disruptions.
Separating backsheets from solar PV modules is one of the most challenging issues for module recycling, because of the glues involved. Given the difficulties in pulling apart the layers, which are typically made of virgin plastic, they are usually burned. However, there are some industry players taking steps to improve the design, recyclability and reusability of backsheets. One of them is Italy-based Coveme, which recently partnered with pv magazine’s UP Initiative. In the following interview, CEO Amedeo Maccolini explains what the company is doing to step UP its sustainability game.
CEA-INES, the French National Institute for Solar Energy, is gearing up to host the fourth edition of its ECO-PV workshop. Originally scheduled to be held this spring, Covid-19 has seen it pushed back to March 2021. Experts in the field of solar sustainability will present on, and discuss, “Photovoltaics: towards a sustainable industry”, with topics ranging from recycling, lifecycle assessment and European policy to manufacturing and the circular economy. In an interview, the institute speaks to pv magazine about the current state of solar sustainability and its goals for future work.
Rising volumes of solar capacity are to be welcomed but, as panelists at a session of today’s SolarPower Europe event discussed, the technology must be kept ethical and responsible. That means industry working together; new, harmonized, mandatory and voluntary policy instruments; and a focus on quantifiable, life cycle-based investor criteria.
In February, non-profit EU solar panel recycling body PV Cycle announced it had collected 5,000 tons of modules in France, of which 94.7% could be recycled. A reader asked us about the remaining 5.3% and here, PV Cycle’s communications manager, Bertrand Lempkowicz, responds.
EVA films are a key barrier to solar module recycling because of the glues involved in their use. An EU-funded research project is aiming to address the issue, among others, with a circular manufacturing approach. pv magazine spoke to two of the professionals involved in the EU-backed Cabriss project.
Amid a growing appetite for sustainability from customers, Lithuanian solar panel maker Solitek is applying circular principles to its production operations. Measures include embracing digitalization and new approaches to design. Project manager Tadas Radavičius has spoken to pv magazine about the company’s work and how Solitek is supporting European projects which are considering circular solar.
SunCrafter is a small German startup with a global ambition: to alleviate energy poverty by upcycling used solar PV modules. Having established an innovative business model, which sees it subsidizing its goals by meeting the infrastructure needs of big events and festivals, it has now partnered with EU-funded project Circusol to demonstrate the viability of circular renewables. pv magazine interviewed SunCrafter CEO and co-founder Lisa Wendzich as part of the UP initiative’s circular manufacturing quarterly theme.
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