Current data about solar panel recycling
The prevalence of solar panel end-of-life management has been improving since 2000. It is estimated that effective management of solar panels at their end of life (which is approximated as 30 years) can lead to the accumulation of raw materials amounting to 78 million tonnes (IRENA, 2021). This means that the solar panel industry will save 78 tonnes of fresh raw materials, hence boosting sustainable development in the economy. Chowdhury et al. (2020) revealed that the capacity of photovoltaic (PV) panels invested globally had increased significantly in the last few years. In 2017, the power of PVs global installation reached 400GW, and the number is predicted to shoot to 4600GW by 2050. Due to this continuous installation, the accumulation of the solar panel waste material is expected to shoot to 72 tonnes by 2050, which is approximately 30 years from 2021 (Chowdhury et al. 2020). Notably, this research focuses on the year 2050 because it is the end-life of the solar panels manufactured today (2021). As a result, it is vital to prioritize the integration of recycling mechanisms that can reduce the accumulation of solar panel waste materials in the future.
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