Working Group 2: PV Life Cycle and Circularity

Lead by Imco Goudswaard (DSM)

The rapid development of Photovoltaic (PV) is the solution for decarbonizing energy production.
With more than 400GW of PV installed at the end of 2017 and closed to 2% of global electricity demand, PV just starts to be considered as a mainstream electricity resource.

As the key clean energy source of the 21st century, PV is poised to become the leading energy source globally. To secure sustainable growth, the development of PV should comply with circular economy principles. With extremely large volumes expected to be installed in the coming years and an average life time of 20 to 30 years, PV will require tremendous quantities of raw material while the repowering and decommissioning of PV plants will generate large volumes of waste to be properly treated. The PV industry should prepare for that upscaling and should define a clear vision to secure its/the sustainable growth.

In this framework, SOLARUNITED has created a new ad-hoc Working Group on the topic of PV Life Cycle & Circularity.

The first PV Life Cycle & Circularity Workshop took place in the DSM’s Innovation Centre Office in Netherlands, 13 March 2018. The workshop addressed the circular economy, life cycle and end-of-life (EOL) options for the PV industry from a manufacturing point of view. A holistic circular approach has been introduced, considering solutions over the full value chain and from a multiplicity of angles to come to a more circular view on the industry.

Together, we have had the chance to exchange cutting edge information and raise our knowledge about the evolution and current state of the solar PV sector, as well as the challenges it will face in the future considering solutions over the full value chain and from a multiplicity of angles. Finally, we also explored options for a White Paper and further actions to describe circularity strategies for the PV Industry.


Further information:
Giulia Serra – WG Coordinator