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Solar Panel Recycling or End of Life Management Scoping Study

End-of-life management is becoming an increasingly important consideration in the solar industry. This scoping study, provides an in-depth analysis of the current PV recycling landscape, market opportunity, best practice and most cost-effective strategies to manage solar panels end of life in Australia.

It recommends a raft of measures including the establishment of large waste facilities in five big Australian cities by 2027.

The Executive Summary and full report can be found here.

The cumulative volume of end-of-life solar panels in Australia is expected to reach 1 million tonnes by 2035, and the total material value from end-of-life solar panels is projected to surpass $1 billion. As a result, establishing domestic PV waste management facilities in Australia presents an opportunity for resource recovery. Recycling offers a gateway to reducing landfill, enhancing circular economy initiative, and job creation.

This work was supported by Neoen, who partnered with the Australian Centre of Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP), hosted by UNSW and co-funded by ARENA, to deliver the scoping study. Research at UNSW was conducted at the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering and the School of Civil Engineering Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation. Neoen contributed primary data from its operation and management in utility-scale PV. In addition, Veolia provided international case studies and insights on the current challenges faced by the recycling industry and what is required to move forward in Australia. In addition, ACT NoWaste, within the Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate of ACT Government, has shared insights in relation to the ACT’s waste and circular economy policy context to help inform the project.

Media contact:

Dr Rong Deng

M: 61 2 90652099


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