How are Rising Environmental Concerns Aiding in Solar Panel Recycling Market Growth?
As the demerits of using fossil fuels as the chief energy source are becoming prominent, such as rising global temperatures, the need of sustainable energy sources is being felt. The fossil fuels contain carbon, and upon burning release carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases into the atmosphere. These gases get trapped into the atmosphere, which leads to the greenhouse effect and disturb the balance of the biosphere. Therefore, to tackle this, the focus on renewable energy sources, such as the wind and solar, is rising, to produce energy in a sustainable way. One of the most popular renewable energy sources is the solar energy, which is increasingly being pursued by many governments.
The solar energy can easily be harnessed just by the installation of solar panels, which have photovoltaic cells embedded on them. These cells are responsible for the direct conversion of solar energy into electricity in an environment-friendly way. Solar panels have an average lifespan of 30 years, but due to extreme weather conditions, may experience extreme wear and tear, which may result in reduced lifespan of these panels. These panels generate a huge amount of e-waste which contain harmful substances. Therefore, their recycling becomes extremely important, which help in maintaining the ecological balance and reduce the hazardous emissions.
Solar panels are fitted with photovoltaic cells, which are responsible for the conversion of solar energy into electricity. These panels are made of various different materials, such as synthetic materials, glass, silicon, aluminum, and other metals. Such panels after being utilized, are reused and recycled in manufacturing other products. Solar panels are of the following types: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. Monocrystalline solar panels were used the most for recycling during 2013–2017. These are PV modules that are assembled using a single layer of crystalline silicon and have a uniform external appearance and color. These are highly efficient panels and have a longer shelf life, as superior grade silicon is used in their manufacturing. Further, they offer excellent heat resistance compared to other types of solar panels. The solar panel recycling market is predicted to register a CAGR of 22.0% amassing a revenue of $269.8 million in the near future.
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The solar panel recycling market is predicted to witness growth in the coming years due to the increasing focus on the recycling of solar panels in emerging economies, such as South Korea, China, and India. The increasing awareness regarding the benefits of harnessing solar energy is resulting in the high demand for solar panels in these nations. Owing to the growing demand for solar panels, the need for solar panel recycling is also growing. Many established companies are venturing into these countries to expand their operational footprints and establish a hold here. Due to huge untapped potential of this domain, new manufacturers and service providers are entering the market. Further, continuous research & development activities to develop more efficient recycling technologies and methods are providing an edge to the companies involved in the recycling of solar panels. Therefore, along with the high adoption of solar panel in developed nations, the emerging economies are also realizing the benefits of harnessing renewable energy, such as solar, which a massive opportunity of growth the manufacturers and recycling companies of solar panels.