According to Transparency Market Research's (TMR's) new report, the global solar panel recycling market was valued at approximately US$40 million in 2018 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of approximately 37% during the forecast period.
TMR states that based on process, the combination segment dominated the global solar panel recycling market in 2018. This comprises the combination of different processes such as thermal, chemical, and mechanical. Based on product, the silicon-based photovoltaic (PV) segment was the dominant share of global solar panel recycling market in 2018. Silicon-based PV has a large installed base, and as a result, silicon-based solar PV panels are estimated to hold a large share of the solar panel recycling market in the near future. Based on material, the glass segment held the most significant share of the global solar panel recycling market in 2018. Glass is the most widely used material in the overall solar module, and up to 95% of its total waste can be recycled. The solar panel recycling market in Europe is projected to expand at a substantial pace during the forecast period, owing to a high installed base of solar panels in the region.
According to TMR, the key drivers of the solar panel recycling market include:
- A rise in the number of end-of-life solar panels across the globe.
- The deployment of solar PV panels has been increasing significantly. Solar PV modules have a useful lifespan of approximately 25 – 30 years.
- The number of PV modules that reach the end of their useful life is likely to increase substantially after the time lag of operation and decrease in efficiency, resulting in waste generation.
- Sustainable waste management provides the benefits of 3Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. When a product cannot be repaired or reused, recycling is the next preferable option before its disposal as waste.
- Solar panel recycling has become an important emerging market, owing to the presence of large volume of waste PV modules.
- The EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, which was revised in 2012 addresses the waste management of all electronics, including waste PV modules. It requires a 75% recovery and 65% recycling rate for waste PV modules by mass to be recycled through 2016. The recovery/recycling rate then increased to 75 – 80% through 2018 and to 80 – 85% thereafter. This means that the increase in end-of-life solar panels is anticipated to drive the global solar panel recycling market in the near future.
TMR states that Europe is anticipated to be a highly attractive region of the global solar panel recycling market during the forecast period. The solar panel recycling market in Europe is estimated to expand at a significant pace between 2019 and 2027, as the region has the highest installed base of solar energy. The increase in number of end-of-life solar panels is anticipated to result in a rise in solar panel waste. Therefore, demand for solar panel recycling is expected to increase in Europe in the near future.
In January 2019, The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), India, proposed to follow the glass recycling procedure for solar PV panels under a new framework. It is expected to be made mandatory for solar power developers. Producers will be made responsible for ensuring recycling of end-of-life glass panels as part of their extended responsibility as in the case of e-waste, which covers used lead-acid batteries, packaging materials, and so on, TMR states.
The global solar panel recycling market is highly consolidated. According to TMR, a few international players hold a significant share of the global solar panel recycling market. Major players operating in the global solar panel recycling market include Morgen Industries, Inc., PV Recycling, Reclaim PV Recycling, Silcontel Ltd, Reiling Glasrecycling Danmark ApS, ECS Refining LLC, Envaris, SunPower Corporation, Reclaim PV Recycling Pty Ltd, First Solar, Recycle Solar Technologies Limited, and Total Green Recycling.
To access the TMR's full report, click here.
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