Rystad: solar PV recycling market to be worth US$2.7bn by 2030

AdobeStock 385972788.jpga.jpgaAccording to a recent report by Rystad Energy, the demand for recycled solar photovoltaic (PV) panel components is set to skyrocket in the coming years as installations surge and the threat of a supply bottleneck looms

Rystad Energy analysis shows recyclable materials from PV panels at the end of their lifespan will be worth more than US$2.7bn in 2030, up from only US$170mn this year. This trend will only accelerate in the coming decades and the value of recyclable materials is projected to approach US$80bn by 2050.

PV recycling is seen as an essential element of the energy transition, with solar PV waste projected to grow to 27mn tonnes per annum by 2040. Rystad forecasts show that recovered materials from retired panels could make up 6% of solar PV investments by 2040, compared to only 0.08% today.

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

The report continued by stating that demand for the materials and minerals used in solar PV is set to climb with the energy transition, with higher prices a likely result. 

By assuming a 15-year lifespan of a PV panel and analysing installation activity in 2022, Rystad Energy has estimated which regions and countries will benefit most from recycling PV materials in 2037. China is set to account for 40% of global installations this year, and when these panels mature in 15 years, the estimated recycling value will be US$3.bn, out of a US$9.6bn global total. 

India will trail in second place with an estimated US$800mn in value, followed by Japan with US$200mn in estimated value. Trailing the Asian continent, the value of recyclable material in North America in 2037 is projected to be worth US$1.5bn, with Europe set to hold US$1.4bn.

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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