Ramp-PV: An industrial project supported by the European Innovation Council

Worldwide urgent action is needed to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the consequences of climate change. In Europe, measures such as the launch of the law on energy transition have a deep impact on various aspects including energy efficiency, renewable energy deployment, and nuclear power phase down. Photovoltaic (PV) energy is one of the most important renewable energy sources, given that it responds to various needs of the developing European market thanks to its flexibility in scale and distribution. However, PV is not free of its own problems. High-value raw materials, mainly silicon and silver, are produced through high energy consuming and CO2 emitting processes. They also suffer great value loss, especially during the manufacturing of the wafers, where about 40% of a Si-ingot’s total weight is disposed of as an industrial waste in the form of a slurry called “kerf”. ROSI offers innovative solutions to these problems. The French start-up has developed a world-leading process to recover high-quality recycled silicon capable of being reintegrated in the PV production value chain. ROSI thus contributes directly to EU Green Deal and sustainability goals by closing the raw materials lifecycle, increasing renewable energy production efficiency, and eliminating the industrial waste.

The European Innovation Council supports this promising and ambitious project with financial aids and a well-developed series of programs offered by EIT RawMaterials in order to help ROSI implement their unique process at industrial scale. ROSI was the winner of the EIT Jumpstarter 2017 in the sector of recycling and circular economy. It then advanced its market development discussion with Veolia. In parallel, ROSI was selected for the EIT RawMaterials Start-up and SME Booster 2018 and funded by EIT RawMaterials, scaling up the technology to a TRL 6 to facilitate business with targeted customers. Furthermore, Yun Luo, co-founder and CEO at ROSI, was nominated for the EIT Woman Award 2018, a prize that recognizes the outstanding achievements of women entrepreneurs and leaders from the EIT Innovation Community.

ROSI’s exchange with the EIT RawMaterials Innovation Community has been mutually beneficial, being that ROSI is steadily approaching its goal of becoming the global leader in the circular economy of PV in the next 5-10 years, reinforcing the role of Europe as an innovation-driven continent. Concretely spoken, the innovative solutions for the annual recycling of 200 000 tons of PV waste offered by ROSI will lead to the reduction of 400 000 tons of CO2 emitted per year, ROSI will become one of the most important operators in the field, thanks to their commitment, their industrial and economical know-how, and to the European Innovation Council’s support.