National PV Recycling Program Aims at Discontinuing Disposal of Panels in Landfills
Tuesday, Sep 13 2016
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) formally launched at Solar Power International a first-of-its-kind national solar photovoltaic (PV) recycling program to cement the sustainability of the U.S. solar industry.
Working alongside major solar manufacturers and installer-developers including First Solar, SunPower, Flex, JinkoSolar, Panasonic, SolarCity and Trina Solar, SEIA has established a state-of-the-art network of cost-effective recyclers that can responsibly manage PV waste and end-of-life disposal of PV panels.
“Our goal is make the entire solar industry landfill-free,” said Tom Kimbis, SEIA’s interim president. “By establishing a national network of collection points, recycling facilities and an easy-to-use consumer web portal, this proactive program will help drive down the cost of recycling for all parties involved. This means the environment wins and so do our solar consumers and companies.”
PV panels, which can last for decades, are mainly made up of easy-to-recycle materials, including glass and aluminum, that can be successfully recovered and reused at the end of their useful life.
“As solar energy becomes mainstream, it’s critical that industry leaders focus on recycling and diverting waste from landfills,” said Marty Neese, SunPower chief operating officer. “The SEIA recycling initiative complements SunPower’s holistic approach to sustainability centered on lean manufacturing and circular economy principles. Our innovative, high efficiency solar panels are Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Silver. They are designed to work for more than 40 years and can be recycled at the end of their useful life.”
“With more than 227 gigawatts of solar modules installed worldwide, recycling is important for all PV technologies and the sustainability of the industry as a whole,” said Alex Heard, senior vice president, Global Technical Services at First Solar. “By making affordable PV recycling solutions more accessible to consumers, SEIA’s recycling program will help to ensure that today’s clean energy solutions do not pose a future waste burden. With more than 10 years of industry-leading experience in providing cost-effective high-value PV recycling solutions globally, First Solar looks forward to partnering with SEIA on this great initiative.”
SEIA is planning proactive waste management strategies that include investing in research and development in recycling technologies with the goal of creating a long-term global circular economy.
To learn more about the national PV recycling program, go to www.seia.org/recycling.
Celebrating its 42nd anniversary in 2016, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.
Alex Hobson, SEIA Senior Communications Manager, [email protected] (202) 556-2886