Study warns of impact of solar PV waste in coming decades

Renewable electricity
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — A local study found that waste from photovoltaic (PV) panels in the governorates of Irbid, Jerash, Ajloun, and Mafraq (the study area), will reach 89,245 cubic meters, and that hazardous materials they contain, such as plastic, metals, silicon, and glass, will top 33,022 tonnes at the end of a panel’s lifespan, by 2040, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.اضافة اعلان

The study, conducted by a Jordanian research team from local universities, showed that after the year 2040, the weight of lead in the waste will reach up to 79 tonnes, of tin 39 tonnes, of plastic 3,669 tonnes, of aluminum 3,406 tonnes, and of glass 24,443 tonnes, and pointed that recycling the waste carries great economic potential.

The research aims to shed light on and offer an estimate of the size of PV waste in the coming decades in the Kingdom, and its projected economic and environmental impact, by highlighting the quantities of waste materials in northern Jordan as a sample that can be generalized in the rest of the Kingdom.

The study, which was published in an international journal, called for spreading awareness about waste from PV panels and how the sectors dealing with photovoltaic solar energy, including companies, installers, legislators, and other concerned bodies should deal with them at the end of their lifespan.

It recommended highlighting the waste that will result, stressing the need to introduce legislation and instructions to regulate and impose measures for the safe and proper management of the waste.

It also recommended designating waste-collection areas to prevent pollution, and building facilities to treat, recycle or reuse waste.

According to reports, installed PV capacity worldwide was about 410GIGAWATTS in 2017; it is expected to soar to 5,000GW by 2050, and that global PV solar energy waste will reach 5–15 percent of the total capacity generation by 2030, assuming that the average lifespan of a PV panel is 25 years, the study showed.

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