The photovoltaic (PV) industry has a relevant role in terms of energy systems sustainability. The economic and environmental benefits related to its application brought the PV sector to an overall installed power of about 138 GW in 2013 (+24% compared to 2012). The recent update of the European Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive classifies End-of-Life (EoL) PV panels as an electrical/electronic waste. Hence, it became mandatory to define alternative strategies to landfill [I]. The scientific literature presents different interesting technological solutions, together with related environmental benefits coming from the PV modules recycling. However, there is a clear fragmentation from an economic point of view [2]. The aim of this paper is to apply a financial methodology, like the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) analysis, for the assessment of PV modules recycling process profitability. This method goes to evaluate two main indexes, as the Net Present Value (NPV) and the Discounted Payback Period (DPBT). The Italian context is selected as a reference case study for the definition of an optimal plant capacity size related to current and expected national market volumes. To this aim, two types (pilot and industrial) of plants are proposed by the authors. The obtained financial results are useful to support future strategic decisions about the PV recycling management.

End-of-Life of used photovoltaic modules: A financial analysis

Cucchiella, Federica;D'Adamo, Idiano;Rosa, Paolo
2015-01-01

Abstract

The photovoltaic (PV) industry has a relevant role in terms of energy systems sustainability. The economic and environmental benefits related to its application brought the PV sector to an overall installed power of about 138 GW in 2013 (+24% compared to 2012). The recent update of the European Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive classifies End-of-Life (EoL) PV panels as an electrical/electronic waste. Hence, it became mandatory to define alternative strategies to landfill [I]. The scientific literature presents different interesting technological solutions, together with related environmental benefits coming from the PV modules recycling. However, there is a clear fragmentation from an economic point of view [2]. The aim of this paper is to apply a financial methodology, like the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) analysis, for the assessment of PV modules recycling process profitability. This method goes to evaluate two main indexes, as the Net Present Value (NPV) and the Discounted Payback Period (DPBT). The Italian context is selected as a reference case study for the definition of an optimal plant capacity size related to current and expected national market volumes. To this aim, two types (pilot and industrial) of plants are proposed by the authors. The obtained financial results are useful to support future strategic decisions about the PV recycling management.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/13869
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