An extensive European Commission regulation has set the bar on those economic activities deemed to help in the war against global heating and, by implication, those which may hinder the effort.
Compared to other techniques based on chemical reactors and organic solvents, the proposed method is said to be able to maintain a “good mechanical yield” in the recovered solar cells. According to its creators, this technique allows the reuse of silicon from the recycled panels in the production of new solar cells.
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.
The solar industry faces many challenges in its move to become truly sustainable and that goal is imperative, rather than being simply a luxury, if the sector is to achieve terawatt scale. pv magazine’s first Sustainability Roundtable took place on June 10 and included discussion as to why sustainability matters in PV and which business, regulatory and technological approaches can be applied to achieve truly “green” solar power. A video of the event can be streamed online.
Researchers in Australia have conducted a ‘cradle to grave’ life cycle assessment (LCA) of the four most widely used PV technologies. The academics say that cadmium telluride solar modules have the lowest life cycle impact, followed by amorphous, multi and monocrystalline silicon products.
France’s National Institute for Solar Energy takes a look at the state of play in the European solar panel recycling industry.