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 recycling and minimizing the impact of end-of-life solar photovoltaic systems in Australia.
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.
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 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 is the main research work of UniSA Future Industry Institute (FII) to help establish a lifelong management plan for the Australian photovoltaic industry. He said that before the waste solar panels reach the peak, a mandatory scrapping strategy must be implemented, and it will take time now.
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 for this 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 sharing of 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.
The life-span management of photovoltaic cells is not the only challenge facing the renewable energy industry. Wind turbine blades also have similar disposal problems, because wind turbine blades are large and are notoriously difficult to recycle.
Majewski said: “These blades are only the size of a passenger plane wing and can withstand the wind of a hurricane, so when they die, it is a huge challenge.” “Like solar panels, this disposal challenge requires planning. And preparation, but to deal with it in the right way, this is not necessarily an unsolvable problem, and we began to study the strategy of how to deal with these blades when they are offline. “(This article is the Polaris Solar Photovoltaic Network compiled from pvmagazine, Please indicate the source)
Post time: Mar-09-2021