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- Sep 22, 2023 6:27 pm GMT
I’ve posted numerous times about the need to develop serious and viable recycling plans for the massive amount of renewable energy materials that will ultimately hit end-of-life. The good news is that I’m seeing a good deal more activity in the area than just a year ago. The bad news is that the effort will at some point need to be massive.
Case in point: Recently Nautilus Solar Energy and Green Clean Solar announced plans to recycle damaged solar panels removed from just two solar sites. The 512 panels weigh in at slightly over 14 tons. They came from two projects that total about 13.4 MW in capacity.
There was no mention of the cost of the effort, but it’s doubtful it will generate a surplus of cash. The hope is that someday solar panels and lithium-ion batteries can be profitably recycled or repurposed. However, we’re not there yet.
Still, it’s a small step in the right direction and gives you a sense of the magnitude of the task. If 512 panels weigh 14 tons what do 10 billion panels weigh?
The answer: just short of 274 million tons. And they all have to go somewhere.
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