Australia Is Expected to Produce 100,000 Tonnes of Discarded Photovoltaic Modules by 2035
Data provided by the Clean Energy Regulatory Agency (CER) shows that by the end of 2020, Australia has installed more than 2.66 million rooftop solar power systems with a total installed capacity of more than 10 GW. However, this raises concerns about the Australian government's ability to recycle and minimize the impact of obsolete solar photovoltaic systems. Although solar cell modules are designed to last for a long time with an average service life of 25 years, eventually they will become inefficient and need to be replaced.
1. Retired solar panels NSW government are in desperate need to be recycled efficiently
Professor Peter Majewski of the University of South Australia (UniSA) said that it is estimated that more than 100,000 tons of solar modules will enter Australia’s waste stream by 2035. The New South Wales Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) predicts that by 2025, New South Wales solar panels only will produce 3,000 to 10,000 tons of waste solar panels and battery storage systems each year. By 2035, this number will increase to between 40,000 and 71,000 tons per year.
Majewski said that before the waste solar panels reach the peak, a mandatory scrapping strategy must be implemented, which currently takes time. He said, "Australia has developed a good management plan for products such as paint and tires, and we hope to see similar solar systems develop management plans." The federal government expressed its gratitude and provided a grant of 2 million Australian dollars (US$1.5 million) as part of the "National Product Management Investment Fund" to develop and implement an industry-led photovoltaic system product management plan. The plan is expected to encourage the shared responsibilities throughout the supply chain to manage the impact of photovoltaic modules throughout their life cycle and support the development of an efficient and innovative photovoltaic recycling industry.
2.Management Plan on solar panels NSW government
Retired solar panels NSW government are relatively safe and stable, but are classified as e-waste, which means that the scrapping of solar panels into landfills in New South Wales will cause serious pollution to the environment, and alternative solutions are obviously needed. A major challenge facing the solar industry is the low recycling value of photovoltaic panels, coupled with the high energy requirements of the currently available collection and recycling processes.
Majewski said: "According to the current market value, the recyclable materials in each panel are only slightly more than 5 Australian dollars." "A large number of panels will eventually offset this low value to a certain extent, but for now, we cannot count on market forces. We will promote recycling, so investment is needed to establish a waste management plan and improve the technological processes that can be used for this purpose."
The University of New South Wales (UNSW) has conducted investigations and studies on
the economic obstacles, technologies and opportunities faced in the implementation of the recycling process in order to effectively recycle scrap crystalline silicon components and maximize profitability. Researchers from the school have published an evaluation report, detailing the methods used to waste photovoltaic modules so far. They evalutated about the economic obstacles to implementing these methods, and the prospects for raw material recycling and profitability of recycling photovoltaic modules. This research was very popular and pushed Australia to the forefront of technology in the field of component recycling, which has played a very good role in promoting the establishment of the solar panel waste management plan in New South Wales.