Q4 2020: PV module recycling

In the fourth quarter, pv magazine’s UP initiative is turning its attention to the topic of PV module recycling. With huge projected volumes of waste edging ever nearer, the topic is gathering speed on a global level. But how can the tension between economic viability and equipment lifetimes of up to 30 years and beyond be addressed? And what is happening in the field of recycling technology? Will it ever be possible to extract the most valuable materials from today’s PV modules?

pv magazine 09/2020

Waste not want not: Presentation of the quarterly theme.

pv magazine 10/2020

Circular innovations: Slowly but surely, environmental concerns are making their way into mainstream thought throughout the PV industry. A look at recycling offers an example of this, with stakeholders trying to get ahead of the high volumes of end-of-life modules already on the horizon.

Limited risk of PV for landfill: While it’s far from ideal to have solar modules dumped in a landfill, in much of the world today, it’s a likely outcome. The silver lining to this dark cloud is that research published this year indicates that PV modules likely pose limited risks to human health, even using the most conservative assumptions.

pv magazine 11/2020

The afterlife of solar panels: In a recent analysis of PV recycling, BloombergNEF detailed six conclusions for the solar industry and those who are trying to make it more circular. Cecilia L’Ecluse, solar associate, and Julia Attwood, head of advanced materials at BloombergNEF share these conclusions as part of our quarterly theme on PV module recycling.

Recycling needs material quotas: The EU Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment remains the primary legislation setting the requirements for the recycling of photovoltaic panels in Europe. pv magazine examines whether the policy is in need of a drastic update, and what it can be done to improve the sustainability of the PV sector through recycling.

This page was last updated on November 3, 2020.