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What recycling solar PVs will be worth in the next decades

The market is currently valued at $170m.

Demand for recycled solar photovoltaic (PV) panel components is expected to skyrocket, which could drive the market to be worth more than $2.7b in 2030, Rystad Energy reported. 

This is up from only $170m this year, and will likely further increase in value to reach $80b by 2050.

“Rising energy costs, improved recycling technology, and government regulations may pave the way for a market where more defunct solar panels are sent to recycling rather than the nearest landfill,” Rystad Energy analyst Kristin Stuge, said.

“Recycling PV panels can help operators save costs, overcome supply chain woes and increase the likelihood of countries meeting their solar capacity goals.”

READ MORE: Solar PV to lead addt’l RE capacity in 2022: IEA

According to its report, solar PV waste is forecast to grow to 27 million tonnes per year by 2040. Rystad noted these recovered materials from retired panels could account for 6% of investments in solar PV by 2040. This is up from only 0.08% at present. 

“Landfills are an easy and cheap option as current resale prices for recycled solar PV materials do not compensate for the transportation, sorting, and processing costs,” Rystad also said. 

“Yet, the rapid growth rate of large-scale utility farms within solar energy can change this.”

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