Photovoltaic (PV) panels have a crucial role in coping with the global warming mitigation and the energetic crisis currently affecting the European Community. However, from the circular perspective of end-of-life (EoL) management, there are still big issues to be solved in order to recover materials from this kind of e-wastes. Because of several reasons (e.g. type of embedded materials, illegal shipments, location of manufacturers) EoL businesses do not have the interest in approaching them. This poses a significant environmental concern in terms of their management. This work wants to assess the profitability of a specific PV module recycling plant, by evaluating several market contexts in which multiple scenarios of material price, investment and process costs will be considered. The results for a 3000 tonnes plant show that profitability is not verified in the absence of an avoided landfill cost. Instead, when a value of 200 euro/tonnes is applied, the net present value is positive in 35.2% of the scenarios and at 87.6% when a value of 350 euro/tonnes is considered. The policy choice of this value requires linking the PV module disposal fee to the circular benefits associated with its recovery.

Circular solar: Evaluating the profitability of a photovoltaic panel recycling plant

Ferella F.;Gastaldi M.;Ippolito N. M.;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Photovoltaic (PV) panels have a crucial role in coping with the global warming mitigation and the energetic crisis currently affecting the European Community. However, from the circular perspective of end-of-life (EoL) management, there are still big issues to be solved in order to recover materials from this kind of e-wastes. Because of several reasons (e.g. type of embedded materials, illegal shipments, location of manufacturers) EoL businesses do not have the interest in approaching them. This poses a significant environmental concern in terms of their management. This work wants to assess the profitability of a specific PV module recycling plant, by evaluating several market contexts in which multiple scenarios of material price, investment and process costs will be considered. The results for a 3000 tonnes plant show that profitability is not verified in the absence of an avoided landfill cost. Instead, when a value of 200 euro/tonnes is applied, the net present value is positive in 35.2% of the scenarios and at 87.6% when a value of 350 euro/tonnes is considered. The policy choice of this value requires linking the PV module disposal fee to the circular benefits associated with its recovery.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/201020
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