- Queensland has launched a draft E-products Action Plan with an aim to reduce e-waste, including that of solar panels and battery storage products
- It has proposed to ban solar panels from being dumped in landfills within 10 years
- The state government has also launched a solar panel recycling scheme to be driven by Smart Energy Council
The State Government of Queensland in Australia is soliciting feedback from all stakeholders for a draft action plan proposing ban on dumping of solar modules in landfills at the end of their working life as it targets to tackle e-waste as part of a broader AUD 1.1 billion ($740 million) Recycling and Jobs Fund.
The government estimates 50% of the e-products, by weight, currently entering the state on annual basis as comprising solar PV and battery storage equipment. Altogether these weigh 114,000 tons, mostly PV systems. In 2019, solar panel and battery storage waste accounted for around 1,000 tons but by 2030, it is forecast forecasts to grow the fastest to over 17,000 tons among other categories.
Government has proposed to ban solar panels from being dumped in landfills within 10 years. Beyond solar PV panels and associated battery storage products for both small household systems to large solar farms, the draft E-Products Action Plan encompasses various other electronic items.
Queensland has also announced an investment of over AUD 250,000 ($168,000) for a pilot industry-led solar panel recycling scheme calling it Solar Stewardship Scheme. To be driven by the Smart Energy Council (SEC), it will be spread across 2 stages. Under stage 1, it will identify participants and locations to divert end-of-life solar panels from landfills and to recover their useful materials.
Under stage 2, there will be on-ground collection, recovery and recycling of panels with focus on rooftop solar segment.
“With the highest rooftop solar penetration in the country, we need to explore how we deal with panels when they reach the end of their life,” said Queensland Minister for Environment and Science Meaghan Scanlon. “The purpose of the project is to help us understand the best way to encourage and incentivize higher quality recovery opportunities to deliver great outcomes, with an initial key focus on regional Queensland.”
Prepared with assistance from eWaste Watch Institute, the pilot is part of the Recycling and Jobs Fund to establish a recycling industry in the state to divert 80% of waste from landfill by 2030.
The draft action plan is available on Queensland government’s website. Feedback on the same will be accepted till April 17, 2023.
Recycling and reusing solar products along with ensuring their low-carbon manufacturing as much as possible is becoming paramount for players across the spectrum. To discuss the sustainability aspect of solar PV industry, TaiyangNews will host a Solar & Sustainability Conference on March 30, 2023. Registrations for this virtual event can be done for free here.