It is a problem of 'What to do about waste'? Options are explored within the context of how a circular economy might deal with this problem. It appears that this problem is addressed by governments and organisations advising, influencing or pressuring governments to adopt forward looking policies. Sustainability Victoria reports on current developments as part of a National approach to manage solar panel, inverter and battery lifecycles in response to the growing issue of PV system waste, ie. Photovoltaic (PV) systems, including solar panels, inverters and batteries.
The recycling of PV panels, while in its infancy in Australia, is positive in terms of retrieval of valued and reusable metals. Renew Economy reports positively on a solar recycling process launched by Lotus Energy in Thomastown, Victoria in the last month - refer - "Australia’s first solar panel recycling plant swings into action' (Sophie Vorath, 7 May 2021) The final components are: - High grade aluminium - High grade silica dust - The silica cells which will be reused by some manufacturers. - Copper - PVC - Silver. 100% of the materials separated from this process will be reused and given a second life. All inverters, rail components, cable can be processed in the Thomastown facility.