Recycling of photovoltaic solar panels
Solar panels have a long life; they can produce energy up to 30 years. But what do we do with them when they stop working to ensure the sustainability of this energy? We tell you everything about the recycling of photovoltaic solar panels.
The solar panels themselves can be recycled and also greatly. We speak of approximately 90% of the materials that can be recycled and in such a way contribute to the sustainability of this clean energy.
Recycling does not consist of their reuse, since second-hand solar panels will never have the same performance as a new one, also without being able to know the history of their use. It consists of reusing the materials from which the modules are made once their lifetime has ended. We say that this key action is to sustainability, but not only because of it. It is also to the economy key. Later we will detail all the benefits of recycling, but first of all it should be mentioned that it is mandatory by law to deposit these devices in a clean place once their useful life expires.
Regulations on recycling solar panels
According to the directive, photovoltaic panels, together with:
. Video recording devices
. Hi-fi chains
. Sound amplifiers
. Musical instruments
And other products or apparatus used to record or reproduce sound or images, including signals and technologies for the distribution of sound and images other than telecommunications.
They have to be recycled. The purpose is to recycle 80% of the total of these devices including photovoltaic panels.
How are solar panels recycled?
The solar panels are highly recyclable thanks to materials which are made mainly of glass and aluminum. However, these must be taken to a clean point so that the elements that make up the module are processed and thus can receive a second life. In the case of photovoltaic self-consumption, it is convenient to know that if you are replacing your old modules with new ones, the installation company has the obligation to collect your used modules, if you request it, and take them to a clean point.
If you simply need to get rid of solar panels, you can find the closest clean point to your home.
The benefits of recycling photovoltaic solar panels
Giving the aluminum and glass that make up the modules a new life has multiple benefits. The first is the great impact that the recycling of these elements has on the environment.
Recycling of all kinds helps to:
. Reduce the exploitation and consumption of natural resources
. Helps reduce energy consumption and air pollution
. Reduces the use of landfills that pollute the environment
Recycling also has a great impact on the economy. A massive and correct recycling will create jobs. As more demanded and more efficient is the sector, more companies and jobs will appear.
We thus speak of a circular economy that in the country promotes with the following purposes:
. Reduce 450 million tons of CO2 emissions by 2030
. Generate, billions money in savings for businesses (8% of annual turnover);
. Create many new jobs.
The economy, the environment and sustainability work best when they go in the same direction. Therefore, the key is recycling of solar panels. It’s also what makes this power generation method the winner of all clean energies.