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Europe’s first major solar panel recycling project takes off

Belgium / France – Association of solar panel recyclers PV CYCLE is partnering with the Provincial Domain of Chevetogne in France, and electricity installator Nizet to showcase the first major dismantling of end-of-life solar panels in Europe. Chevetogne is one of the first 16 photovoltaic (PV) pilot plants initiated and supported by the European Commission in 1983. It has now been the first major site to be dismantled and will hence serve as a learning experience on the way towards having the PV CYCLE recycling scheme in place across Europe by 2015. ‘The solar modules installed here have supplied clean, renewable energy for the past 26 years. Now that they have reached their end of life, PV CYCLE takes the responsibility to collect and recycle them. This is a first, major documentation of the voluntary programme we are about to roll out across Europe. In doing so, we make photovoltaic energy truly DoubleGreen,’ states Jan Clyncke, Managing Director of PV CYCLE.

Just four months after PV CYCLE members signed a joint declaration in the presence of the European Commission and the French EU Presidency, in which we committed to set up a full scale take-back and recycling scheme for PV modules across Europe, the Chevetogne event marks a milestone towards achieving our ambitious goal.

Frédaric Bastin, Manager at the Photovoltaic Division of Nizet, and Gérard Bournonville, Technical Director of the Provincial Domaine of Chevetogne, highlighted the importance of the recycling process towards achieving the objective of broadening the energy mix. ‘€˜The recycling of the photovoltaic modules is of the utmost importance and inherent to our intention to develop alternative energy sources, they said.

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