• Natascha Falbe Frandsen
  • Mathilde Sørensen Nilsson
This study engages in recycling and reuse of photovoltaic (PV) panels. A literature review has been conducted to identify knowledge gaps within the topic. In order to examine this, the study answers the following research question:

What are the environmental impact of recycling and reuse of photovoltaic panels and how can further reuse be supported by actors involved in the end-of-life management from a Danish perspective?

To answer the research question, semi-structured interviews with actors related to the end-of-life (EoL) treatment of PV panels (developers, collective schemes, waste operators, and a trade association) have been included. The interviews are used to identify barriers that hamper the EoL management. The main barriers are associated with the low amounts of decommissioned PV panels. Additionally, life cycle assessment(LCA) is included to compare the environmental impacts of recycling and reusing 1m2 of c-Si panels. The LCA shows that reusing PV panels causes the largest savings in terms of environmental impacts. Circular economy (CE) is included to suggest strategies that can further reuse. The strategies focus on reuse due to the results from the LCA. Furthermore, the strategies aim at decreasing the main barriers. Therefore, the recommendations engage in the slow circular strategy within the three innovation principles product, business model, and ecosystem. In terms of the product principle, it is recommended to include standardisation of the panels’ size. Within the business model; leasing, individual producer responsibility, and collective reuse schemes are recommended. Finally, collaboration among the actors in the supply chain and collaboration with external actors are suggested as this can further the sharing of knowledge and experience across the industry. As these strategies aim at minimising the barriers and furthermore are within the slow strategy, it can be concluded that these can support actors to further reuse of PV panels.
SpecialisationEnvironmental Management and Sustainability Science
Publication date3 Jun 2022
Number of pages100
ID: 471923533