Recycling solar panels is a new sustainable innovation

recycling solar panels

A new recycling solar panels plant opened in Yuma, Arizona, with a innovation to address ‘solar waste’

Most worn-out and broken solar panels are still thrown in landfills. But with the growth of solar energy, the industry is recognizing the surge of a new problem called – solar waste. It is expected that, by 2025, solar waste will accumulate a total of 78 million tons globally, according to Mool Gupta, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Virginia. However, recycling solar panels is still an expensive practice: $30 per panel cost VS $1 to send it to a landfill.

Found in Arizona We Recycle Solar is the first utility-scale solar panel recycling facility in North America and a shining example of sustainable innovation.

As solar panels age and wear out, recycling initiatives like this one play a crucial role in reducing electronic waste and promoting a circular economy. By giving old solar panels a second life, it helps to:

  • Reduce E-Waste: Solar panels can contain hazardous materials, and improper disposal can harm the environment. Recycling plants ensure that valuable materials are extracted and disposed of safely.
  • Preserve Resources: Recycling solar panels conserves valuable resources like rare metals and glass, reducing the need for new raw materials and the associated environmental impact.
  • Promote Sustainability: Recycling aligns with the principles of sustainability, reducing the carbon footprint of solar panel production and disposal.
  • Economic Opportunities: Recycling facilities create jobs and opportunities for the local economy, contributing to the growth of the renewable energy sector.
recycling solar panels

  • Support the Circular Economy: This initiative aligns with the concept of a circular economy, where materials are reused or repurposed, reducing waste and environmental impact.
  • Extend Product Lifespan: By refurbishing or recycling solar panels, their useful life is extended, ensuring that the energy they generate continues to offset carbon emissions.
  • Initiatives like the one in Yuma, Arizona, demonstrate the importance of responsible and sustainable practices in the renewable energy industry. They contribute to the overall sustainability and longevity of solar power as a clean energy source.

The Yuma, Arizona, facility can process 7,500 panels in a single day or roughly 69 million pounds per year. It calculates that more than 650,000 tons of carbon dioxide have been averted as of early June. It is reusing about 60% of the panels that come in. Alongside a major solar manufacturer in the Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina corridor, the company intends to construct another recycling factory.

Recycling solar panels helps reduce electronic waste, conserves resources, and minimizes the environmental impact of solar panel disposal. In order to maintain the sustainability of solar energy, ethical recycling techniques are becoming more and more crucial as the solar business expands. Government rules and subsidies may also promote and assist initiatives to recycle solar panels.

Font: Fast Company

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Universal Kraft  combines different solar energy technologies, in a way to find the best solutions to each area, in land or on water. By using decentralized solutions to minimize grid constraints, we create installations for local energy production.

Solar energy is becoming one of the most affordable and environmentally friendly energy sources in the world since it is statistically dependable, efficient, simple to install, and has a declining cost curve. We strive to create our PV installations as responsibly as we can, with the goal of blending them into the natural and social environments.

After more than 25 to 35 years, these installations ensure a steady usage of the site, and it will be quite simple to return the lands to their previous state. It is a type of installation that has little effect on the environment. Furthermore, the materials can be recycled, recovered, and used to make new solar panels or other products.

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