Currently available techniques allow the recycling of about 85% of a PV
panel weight. Recycling is not only beneficial for the environment; it
also reduces the energy needed to produce all PV-constituting materials,
thereby decreasing overall manufacturing costs.
The EU has
recognised the importance of recycling end-of-life PV modules. This is
why the latest recast of the Directive on Waste from Electrical and
Electronic Equipment (WEEE, 2012/19/EU
) – from July 2012 – has included
PV modules within its scope.
This Directive was conceived to
deal with the disposal of consumer goods (such as washing machines and
televisions). PV panels are the only power-producing source included in
the scope of the legislation. This makes PV-generated electricity a
source of energy for which there is absolute legal certainty on the
modalities of collection and recycling of a power plant
. When purchasing
a PV module in the European Union, any final customer can be reassured
about the panel’s end-of-life processing.