An Indian Institute of Technology research team analyzed around 300 studies about PV panel waste containing carcinogenic metals. The researchers said solar module recycling is not economically profitable and policy support is necessary to avoid panels being dumped in landfill.
Opinion is divided over the urgency of addressing the issue. While some developers feel the 25-year lifetime of modules offers plenty of time to prepare an action plan, other industry voices claim Indian-made products don’t last half that long and one recent report pointed out waste is already piling up thanks to defects and faulty installation.
While some of the industry insiders gathered at REI 2019 have made predictable calls to be free of the restrictions imposed by regulators, others maintained policy support is crucial and audience members voiced concern about India’s lack of recycling rules.
Dustin Mulvaney is a solar industry veteran. Associate professor at the Department of Environmental Studies, San José State University, in the United States, he recently published a new book this April, Solar Power, Innovation, Sustainability, Environmental Justice, which looks at creating a “more sustainable and just solar industry for the future.” A part of this is the creation of a new global sustainability module standard. He spoke with pv magazine as part of the launch of our new UP initiative.
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