According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar power is the fastest-growing energy source in the U.S. and this growth will continue to rise. At the moment, only
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar power is the fastest-growing energy source in the U.S. and this growth will continue to rise. At the moment, only a few states have adopted solar PV end-of-life handling policy requirements. Therefore, a lot of modules that have reached their end-of-life will end up in landfills. Early failures, catastrophic events, and system upgrades will compound waste management issues of end-of-life PV modules. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Energy Agency finds a substantial increase in solar modules reaching their end-of-life in the 2020s and 2030s, with forecasts of 60 to 78 million cumulative tons of modules entering the waste streams globally by 2050.
Governments and states are now beginning to see the overall value in end-of-life PV requirements for a circular economy. In 2012 the European Union’s Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment established PV module disposal and recycling guidelines. Extended-producer-responsibility principles are is at its core, holding the producers responsible for the recycling and treatment of end-of-life PV modules. Currently, there are no national U.S. requirements for end-of-life PV modules, however, ideas for national and state recycling programs have been evaluated. This seminar will include a panel discussion on barriers, policies, and sustainable opportunities for end-of-life PV modules.
Illinois Sustainable Technology Center