End-of Life Management

and Recycling of PV Modules, Energy Policy Journal

Abstract

Photovoltaics (PV) technology is undergoing a transition to a new generation of efficient, low-cost products based on thin films of photoactive materials. PV technology has definite environmental advantages over competing electricity generation technologies, and the PV industry follows a pro-active life-cycle approach to prevent future environmental damage and to sustain these advantages.

An issue with potential environmental implications is the decommissioning of solar cells at the end of their useful life; a viable answer is recycling them when they are no longer useful. This paper presents a feasibility study for recycling thin-film solar cells and manufacturing waste, based on the current collection/recycling infrastructure and on current and emerging recycling technologies. It is shown that recycling is technically and economically feasible.

 

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