May 29, 2024
Solar Panel Recycling Market

The Growing Need For Solar Panel Recycling Is Driven By Concerns Over E-Waste

Solar panel recycling involves processing end-of-life or damaged solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to recover valuable materials such as glass, polymers, aluminum, silicon, and other metals. As the solar industry continues to grow rapidly across the globe, the volume of decommissioned or damaged solar panels is also increasing substantially. If not handled properly, solar panels can release toxic materials into the environment over time as they degrade. There is also a significant quantity of valuable materials such as silver, copper, lead, and silicon that can be recovered through solar panel recycling. Recycling helps reduce dependency on new rare material extraction and lowers carbon emissions associated with virgin material production. It is estimated that by 2050, up to 80,000 metric tons of solar panel waste will be generated annually in the United States alone.

The global Solar Panel Recycling Market was valued at US$ 298 Mn in 2024 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 19 % over the forecast period 2023-2030, as highlighted in a new report published by CoherentMI.

Market Key Trends:

There is a growing policy push and awareness toward solar panel recycling around the world. For instance, several European countries have enacted e-waste recycling obligations and take-back requirements for solar panels. California became the first US state to pass a similar law in 2018 requiring 80% of retired panels to be recycled. Major solar panel manufacturers are also launching their own recycling programs to responsibly manage waste from installations. Another key trend is the solar industry’s focus on designing more recyclable panels using reusable or recyclable materials. Companies are investing in innovative recycling technologies like mechanical and hydrometallurgical processes that can recover a higher percentage of materials from panels at lower costs. This will make large-scale solar panel recycling economically viable over the next decade.

Porter’s Analysis :

Threat of new entrants: The threat of new entrants in the solar panel recycling market is low due to high capital requirements and established infrastructure needed to operate at scale.
Bargaining power of buyers: The bargaining power of buyers is medium as solar panel recycling market players provide standardized services with no differentiation. Buyers can switch between vendors easily.
Bargaining power of suppliers: The bargaining power of suppliers is low as solar panel recycling market players source e-waste from various locations reducing dependency on any single supplier.
Threat of new substitutes: The threat of new substitutes is low as solar panel recycling is the most viable solution for e-waste management compared to alternatives like landfilling or incineration.
Competitive rivalry: The competitive rivalry in the solar panel recycling market is high due to presence of many regional and global players.

Solar Panel Recycling Market Segmentation:

  • By Panel Type
    • Monocrystalline Silicon Solar Panels
    • Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Panels
    • Thin Film Solar Panels
    • Others (Cadmium Telluride (CdTe), Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS))
  • By Process
    • Thermal
    • Mechanical
    • Laser
    • Chemical
    • Others (Shot blasting, magnetic, gravity)
  • By Shelf Life
    • Early Loss
    • Normal Loss
    • Degradation Loss
    • Others (slow loss, rapid loss)
  • By End User
    • Residential
    • Commercial & Industrial
    • Utility

Key Takeaways:

The global Solar Panel Recycling Market Size is expected to witness high growth over the forecast period. The global Solar Panel Recycling Market is estimated to be valued at US$ 298 Mn in 2024 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 19 % over the forecast period 2023-2030.

Europe is currently dominating the solar panel recycling market owing to supportive government policies and initiatives for sustainable e-waste management in countries like Germany, Netherlands, Belgium. Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing market due to exponential growth in solar panel installations and increased e-waste generation in major countries like China and India.

Key players operating in the solar panel recycling market are eclaim PV, Echo Environmental, Silrec Corporation, Cascade Eco Minerals, ECS Refining, and Eiki Shoji. eclaim PV is one of the leading players in the solar panel recycling market. The company uses proprietary process to recover over 90% of raw materials from solar panels with minimal carbon emissions.

1. Source: CoherentMI, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it