Millions of solar panels have been installed in the last two decades—and since they typically last between 25 and 30 years, many will soon be ready for retirement and probably headed to a landfill. But new efforts to recycle these panels could reduce both the amount of waste and the new material that needs to be mined.
Only about 10% of panels in the US are recycled—it isn’t mandated by federal regulations, and recycling the devices is currently much more expensive than just discarding them. But the materials in solar panels coming offline each year could be worth an estimated $2 billion by 2050. New efforts, including one approach from a French startup called ROSI, are trying to recapture these valuable materials, especially silver and silicon, to make recycling the panels more financially viable.
Read the full article at: https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/08/19/1032215/solar-panels-recycling/
Image credits: MS Tech | Pixel Squid