Working out the details of a circular solar economy
As solar grows rapidly as an energy source, the number of photovoltaic (PV) modules that are manufactured and installed each year will continue to expand. By 2050, the United States may have installed 1,600 gigawatts of PV (or more) to decarbonize its electricity system, about 20 times the amount installed today. Even before 2050, many of these PV modules may start retiring from service. What happens to those modules?
Many researchers and members of the PV industry, including researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), have begun to consider solutions to the end-of-life question for PV modules. Most envision a circular economy for PV materials in which modules (or the glass, silicon, aluminum, and other materials that compose them) are recaptured at the end of their life for reuse or recycling.
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Source: Clean Technica
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