Program to support recycling of renewable energy infrastructure

Published: 30 Aug 2021


Old solar panels and battery storage systems will be given a second life with $1 million in funding to boost NSW’s ability to manage solar system waste.

Solar panels on a rooftop.

 

The Circular Solar program supports the development of new and innovative re-use projects that prevent solar systems ending up in landfill.

Innovative projects in the first round of funding supported projects such as:

  • trialling decommissioned solar panels for a community solar project, 
  • examining if a secondary marketplace for recycled panels can be achieved,
  • developing technology that dismantles end-of-life solar panels into uncontaminated parts, and
  • testing of solar panel glass in greenhouses.

Minister for Energy Matt Kean said the uptake of solar and other household renewables in NSW and Australia is among the highest in the world.

“While current amounts of waste are low, the volume of solar panels and associated battery storage system waste is forecast to reach 3,000 - 10,000 tonnes per year by 2025 and 40,000 – 71,000 tonnes per year by 2035,” Mr Kean said.

“Now is the time to invest in developing systems for collecting, recycling and re-using so we can keep these valuable resources out of the tip and drive a productive circular economy.”
Funding will open in September to support more renewable energy recycling projects. 

Find out more from the NSW EPA website.

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