What it takes to realize a circular economy for solar photovoltaic system materials

Read the full story at The Hack Posts.

Rapidly growing solar photovoltaic (PV) installations has led to environmental and provide chains issues. The United States depends on imports of uncooked materials for solar module manufacturing and imports of PV cells and modules to meet home demand. As PV demand will increase, so will the necessity to mine useful materials—a motivation for home reuse and recycling.

Moreover, decommissioned PV modules might whole 1 million tons of waste within the United States by 2030, or 1% of the world’s e-waste. This presents not solely waste administration issues but in addition alternatives for materials recovery and secondary markets.

“Responsible and cost-effective management of PV system hardware is an important business and environmental consideration,” mentioned Taylor Curtis, sustainability analyst on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). “Repair, reuse, or recovery of this equipment would reduce negative environmental impacts, reduce resource constraints, and stimulate U.S. economic growth.”

Curtis and a crew of NREL researchers have been main ongoing evaluation of how to handle retiring PV modules in assist of the laboratory’s imaginative and prescient of a circular economy for vitality materials. The crew performed legal- and literature-based analysis and interviewed solar {industry} stakeholders, regulators, and policymakers. They revealed a sequence of NREL technical experiences, narrowing in on choices and alternatives for PV gear reuse and recycling.

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