Recycling firm SunR has processed 30 tonnes of discarded solar panels since launching its recycling services in Brazil at the start of the year. The company expects to receive another 125 tonnes by the end of the year.
SunR has recently received more than 100 disposal requests from all over Brazil, representing a demand of approximately 300 tonnes. The recycler has told PV Magazine that although most of these solar panels have been installed in the last five years, there is already considerable demand for recycling. This is mainly due to damage occurring during transport or maintenance. Solar farm operators are wary of strict rules and want to ensure their PV modules pass the necessary quality tests.
Leonardo Gasparini, ceo of SunR, estimates that the 9 GW of installed capacity in Brazil (which translates to roughly 500 000 tonnes of panels) have thus far generated around 40 000 tonnes of end-of-life materials. The entrepreneur puts the market value of the material at some US$ 20 million (EUR 17 million).
‘One of the main problems in Brazil is inadequate disposal, not the options for recycling,’ Gasparini explains. He observes that recycling is a more adequate and cheaper solution than landfilling or incineration. ‘The biggest challenge, however, is the logistics,’ he insists.
The recycler is striking new partnerships with parties that offer de-installation services to create a reverse logistics solution for used solar panels. Doing so would notably lower logistic costs and treatment costs, thus lowering the final price for the consumer while generate plenty of revenue for industry players.
Source: PV Magazine
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