Status of Solar Module Recycling

Video: Jan Clyncke From PV Cycle Provided Update On PV Panel Recycling During TaiyangNews Conference

During the 1st TaiyangNews Virtual Conference on Solar & Sustainability 2023, we also looked into solar module recycling – and had one of the pioneers in this field sharing his experience: Jan Clyncke, Managing Director of PV Cycle, the first collective take-back and recycling scheme for PV Panels worldwide launched 25 years ago.

Clyncke pointed out that since panels are created with an average of 10-year product and over 20-year performance guarantee, these last long. Due to this reason, there is currently hardly any significant volume entering the waste cycle. While this is great in terms of reducing waste and is something the PV industry should be communicating to the world as a mark of its sustainable nature, it means that today’s industrial mass-recycling facilities used for other industries would eat up solar waste instantly, economic operation on solar waste only processing would not be possible. Indeed, JinkoSolar presented at the event about their pilot module recycling line they consider to expand once they see more demand (see Getting Ready For Large Scale Solar Module Recycling).  However,  technological advancements are taking place at a rapid pace which will also contribute to making the production processes and components most environment friendly in the future, Clyncke added.

Clyncke was speaking at TaiyangNews’ Virtual Conference on Solar & Sustainability on 30 March 2023. The Conference viewed solar & sustainability from different angles – corporate decarbonisation strategies, low carbon vertically integrated module manufacturing and CO2 certification, to sustainable product sourcing, module recycling, and repowering of PV plants. It included speakers from various segments of the solar sector, including project development, product procurement, recycling, processing materials, power plant repowering. A conference summary article can be read here.

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