Niresh Shrestha, Atiq Zaman

Decommissioning and Recycling of End-of-Life Photovoltaic Solar Panels in Western Australia

  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

Academics predict that a significant volume of end-of-life (EOL) photovoltaic (PV) solar panel waste will be generated in the coming years due to the significant rise in the production and use of PV solar panels since the late 20th Century. This study focuses on identifying a sustainable solution for the management of EOL PV solar panel waste by triangulating the information collected on areas such as the current state, the key barriers, and the key enablers with respect to managing EOL PV solar panel waste, specifically in Western Australia (WA). The data were collected using online survey questions and interviews with users of PV solar panels, sellers of PV solar panels, recyclers of PV solar panels, and local governments in Western Australia. Findings reveal that although there is a low generation of PV solar panel waste at present, it is concerning that WA lacks systems and infrastructure to manage this waste. Introducing and implementing an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policy, banning EOL PV solar panels from landfills, and, finally, increasing financial investment in this study area through grants, subsidies, and loans could be a sustainable solution for the management of EOL PV solar panel waste in WA.

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