Recently, we reported on the efforts of SolarCycle, a California startup that is struggling to recycle solar panels and do it profitably. Figuring this out is going to be hugely important as the number of solar panels that are no longer productive increases dramatically over the next several decades.
In 2016, the International Renewable Energy Agency forecast that by the early 2030s, the global quantity of decommissioned PV panels will equal some 4% of the number of installed panels. By the 2050s, the volume of solar panel waste will rise to at least 5 million metric tons a year. China, the world’s biggest producer of solar energy, is expected to have retired a cumulative total of at least 13.5 million metric tons of panels by 2050 — the largest quantity among major solar-producing nations and nearly twice the volume retired in the US by that time.
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Source: Clean Technica
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