America’s Largest Solar-Panel Producer is leading the world in panel recycling. First Solar is set to make a change in the solar panel industry. The use of Solar panels is rising exponentially across the world and by the next decade, they could account for about eight million metric tons of humanity’s e-waste.
First Solar who maintains stations all across the world is making efforts to tackle the future of solar panel recycling. America’s largest solar-panel producer developed the first globally applicable recycling program for its solar stations in 2005 and since then it has been investing in recycling technology and reducing the costs of recycling.
On two different occasions, they have updated their recycling infrastructure and the most recent machines can shift 150 metric tons of panel material daily. According to First Solar’s estimate, the value of recyclable PV solar panel parts is above $450 million in the solar markets of countries like India, Germany, China, Japan, and the U.S.
Our aim for solar is to help our customers decouple their economic growth from negative environmental impacts. So it is kind of a mandatory point for us to address the renewable-energy-circular-economy nexus today and not 20 years from now.Andreas Wade, global sustainability director for First solar
The current EU regulations state that about 70% is required for recycling, however, First Solar reclaim over 90% of semiconductor materials and 90% of glass, which prevents the toxins from contaminating any environments. Andreas Wade revealed that the materials can help to recreate new panels for about 1,200 years before they become unstable to be reused.
By 2018, First Solar recycling plants will have zero liquid waste discharge and will convert most of the incoming PV waste streams into valuable raw materials for other industries.Report