It is with great pleasure that ROSI shares the last publication from the Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) regarding the challenges and opportunities along the lifecycle of photovoltaic modules to strenghten circular economy behaviours.
As the photovoltaic waste stream increase exponentially in Germany, the goal of the study was to identify how to prevent waste generation, how and when to repair PV modules that can be repaired, and how to recycle those that cannot. The DUH interviewed many organizations and industry stakeholders to obtain a clear vision of the real situation in Germany. It allowed to identify the current major bottlenecks that slow down the establishment of a circular economy:
- Due to costs and efforts existing collection processes often are not attractive for owners of used PV panels, so they look for alternatives like illegal export, which leads to negative environmental impacts.
- Used modules are often still functional, but are destroyed by inadequate treatment and cannot be reused.
- Modules are difficult to recycle and the recycling of modules often leads to a loss of valuable materials and downcycling, although better technical options can be developed.
Please read the paper to find out the actions we think could greatly improve the situation.
The Environmental Action Germany (DUH) has been campaigning to preserve the natural foundations of life for more than 40 years. In doing so, it brings together protecting the environment with consumer pro-tection like no other organisation in Germany. The organisation is politically independent and it cam-paigns mainly on a national and European level.
This study was led in cooperation with industry actors all along the value chain: ROSI, Veolia, Take-e-way, First Solar.
Report in English:
Report in German: