As Australians search to control rising energy costs and tackle the damaging impacts of local weather change, rooftop solar has boomed. To handle the variability of rooftop solar – broadly, the “no energy at night time” downside – we may also see a fast enhance in battery storage.
If not addressed, ageing solar panels and batteries will create a mountain of hazardous waste for Australia over the coming many years. Our analysis, revealed just lately within the Journal of Cleaner Production, appeared on the obstacles to managing solar panel waste, and the way to enhance it.
Solar panels typically last about 20 years. And lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries, which would be the most typical battery storage for solar, last between five and 15 years. Many solar panels have already been retired; however, battery waste will begin to emerge more considerably in 2025. By 2050 the projected quantity of waste from retired solar panels in Australia is over 1,500 kilotonnes (kT).
Solar panels and batteries include worthwhile supplies resembling metals, glass, ruthenium, indium, tellurium, lead and lithium. Recycling this waste will stop environmental and human health issues and save valuable sources for future use.
Australia has a Product Stewardship Act, which goals to ascertain a system of shared duty for individuals who make, promote and use a product to make sure that product doesn’t find yourself harming the surroundings or people on the end of its life.
In 2016, solar photovoltaic (PV) programs were added to a priority list to be thought of for a scheme design. This consists of an evaluation of voluntary, co-regulatory, and regulatory pathways to handle the waste streams.
Sustainability Victoria (on behalf of the Victorian state authorities and with the assist of states and territories) is main a federal investigation right into a system of shared accountability for finish-of-life solar photovoltaic methods in Australia. Our analysis challenge has supported the evaluation course.