Solar panels have a lifespan of about 30-50 years. That’s over 30 years of producing your own energy and saving on utility bills. But solar panels, like all things, don’t last forever. That is where solar panel recycling steps in. Solar panel recycling is still at a very early stage. Yet, it’s anticipated to be a huge part of the solar industry in the years to come.
We’ve listed some common questions and their answers about solar panel recycling.
How Significant is Solar Panel Recycling?
Crystalline solar panels will become obsolete over the years. People want alternatives given that massive landfills are another major concern. We all want a cleaner environment.
Recycling solar panels is an economically viable option. A study conducted in 2016 concluded that $15 billion could be retrieved by recycling solar panels till 2050. PV cells like Gallium and Indium should be retrieved and reused in the manufacturing of new solar panels.
What Parts of the Solar Panels Should be Recycled?
Solar panels have complex manufacturing materials. Conserving each one of them would be a sound decision. These materials include:
- Silicon Solar Cells
- Metal Framing
- Glass Sheets
All the core components of the solar panel can be recycled and reused. The common practice is to extract and reuse metal, glass, and wiring. However, solar panel recycling isn’t easy.
Contrary to the common perception that the complex material makes them hard to recycle, separating all the complex items is the main challenge. It’s not only time-consuming but expensive.
Best Solar Panel Recycling Options
Solar panels are generally recycled at glass recycling facilities. The glass and the metal frames are secured while the remaining parts are burned out. Some of the leading names in the solar panel recycling industry include:
1- Recycle PV
Recycle PV is one big name inclined to bring solar panel installation to the US. Europe is currently the biggest asset to solar panel recycling. Due to government regulations, the organization has to partner with other leading names to grow over the years.
2- Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
SEIA was one big initiative taken by the solar panel manufacturers themselves. Big names like these run global recycling programs for their customers. They collect old solar panels from their customers for recycling and repurposing.
Solar panel installation is one sound financial investment. The growth of the solar industry will have a significant impact on the solar recycling industry as well. Luckily, someone who installs solar today will not have to worry about solar recycling for several decades. But by going solar today, you can cut on your electricity bills and start saving right away. Happy Investment!