- Ørsted says it is the 1st energy developer globally to commit to reuse or recycle all its solar panels
- The company has committed to these measures for all the panels from its global portfolio with immediate effect
- In the US, a major market for Ørsted, it has partnered with Solarcycle to process and recycle end-of-life modules from its local projects
Denmark’s Ørsted has vowed to reuse or recycle all solar panels from its global portfolio of solar farms with immediate effect, with Solarcycle helping it in the US, claiming it makes the multinational energy group the world’s 1st energy developer to make such a commitment.
While there is no absolute figure to pin it down to the specific volume, Ørsted aims to reach 17.5 GW of installed wind and solar PV capacity for its global onshore portfolio by 2030 and that should mean a significant number of modules.
Ørsted says it is taking initiative to find a sustainable solution to the problem of solar panels ending up in landfills and to lower the dependency on virgin materials for solar panels.
It explained, “The mining of these has environmental and social impacts, and competition to secure access to these materials is on the rise. To lower dependency on virgin materials, a key solution is to reuse or recycle end-of-life solar panels and bring the materials back into manufacturing.”
Solarcycle will process and recycle Ørsted’s end-of-life modules from its US projects, which is a significant market for the Danish company, at its Texas fab. This agreement follows May 2023 recycling services contract with The AES Corporation for Solarcycle (see North America PV News Snippets).
Calling it an industry-first commitment, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Stakeholder Relations at Ørsted, Ingrid Reumert said, “We want to create a world that runs entirely on green energy, and we want to do it in a sustainable way. Addressing the most critical waste problem of the solar industry, while mitigating social and environmental impacts in the supply chain, is essential to doing so.”
It adds to the company’s existing ambition to reuse or recycle all its wind turbine blades.
Recycling and reusing solar panels is part of the industry’s sustainability measures which were discussed at length at the recent TaiyangNews 1st Solar & Sustainability Conference 2023. Presentations by participants during the event are available for viewing here.