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International link-up to boost solar panel best practices

French company ROSI SAS has received backing for its solar panel recycling technology from Itochu in Japan. The collaboration will see Itochu promoting and expanding the solar panel recycling business.

ROSI, which was founded in 2017, has developed a recycling method that allows operators to extract silver, copper and silicon from used solar panels at high purity. Its solutions differs from the conventional approach that crushes solar cells.

Itochu is actively engaged in the sale of solar panels both in Japan and overseas, driving the development of mega solar power plants. It cites solar panel recycling as a major headache. In a bid to deal with this modern-day waste responsibly, Itochu plans to set up a recycling chain with Rosi’s technology in Japan and, potentially, overseas. 

ROSI has been quite busy lately. The tech company has raised EUR 10.5 million in funding from BPI France to advance its recycling solutions. It is also building a dedicated solar panel recycling plant in France, which is scheduled to become operational at the start of 2023.

The new partners expect both Japan and Europe to witness mass disposal of solar panels to increase ‘at an accelerated pace’ in the next few years. By 2036, the volume of end-of-life solar panels is expected to reach 170 000 – 280 000 tonnes. They will account for roughly 3% of all industrial waste sent to landfill each year.  

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