Study on the development of photovoltaic waste quantities
The cumulative installed quantity of PV systems in North America reached 80 GWp at the end of 2019. The installation base of PV systems is expected to reach around 440 GWp by 2030. If the typical life of a PV system is assumed to be 25 – 30 years, a very large quantity of PV module waste will occur at the end of their use. This waste must be treated properly and resource-efficiently by recovering the materials they contain such as glass, plastics, metals and solar silicon. The waste management systems required for this must be set up in good time, in order to establish solar energy as a long-term significant clean energy source in a sustainable, environmentally and resource-efficient way.
The “CSA Group’s research report on Photovoltaic (PV) Recycling, Reuse and Decommissioning” includes studies on expected photovoltaic waste development in the USA and Canada. It provides an overview of the legal frameworks and standards for the collection of PV waste, the possible treatments and on recycling. Furthermore, proposals were made for new standards to improve the circular economy of solar modules. The report therefore makes a contribution to the establishment of economic, environmentally-friendly and efficient solutions for treating the increasing quantities of PV waste. The complete report is available under the link
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Dr. Karsten Wambach