As part of the EU-India Technical Cooperation Project on renewable energy and energy efficiency in India, “PV Waste Management in India” report was launched on 26 March 2021 by the EU and India at the Solar India Summit under the 6th Smart Cities Indian Expo 2021.
The report was launched by the Ambassador of European Union, Ugo Astuto, Joint Secretary Mr Dinesh Jagdale of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the authors, i.e. SolarPower Europe, PV CYCLE and the National Solar Energy Federation of India.
Both the EU and India have set very ambitious targets for renewable energy, including solar energy. By 2022, India aims at having installed 60 GW of ground solar systems and 40 GW of rooftop solar and 450 GW of total installed renewable energy capacity by 2030. However, this requires a feasible plan to manage and recycle the industrial waste as the first generation panels would start expiring in 25-30 years. To this background, the report compares the EU and Indian regulatory frameworks for managing end-of-life solar panels. It also assesses and analyses the PV waste market and processing capacities in India, and shares recommendations for Indian stakeholders to take forward and adapt.
Launching the report on the PV solar sector, Ambassador of the EU, Mr. Ugo Astuto said: “As the solar PV modules generally last 25-30 years or even more, the waste stream is currently not yet that significant. But it is bound to surge once first generation panels expire. Therefore, responsible producers and installers do already need a strategy now, to anticipate and minimize the waste and to recover high value materials”. He added further, “EU and India have a strong collaboration on renewable energy and energy efficiency. This report will contribute to further strengthening our joint commitment to clean energy, environment and against climate change.”
In 2018, under the EU-Resource Efficiency Initiative, the EU financed a first report on the issue with the title “Greening the solar PV value chain”. EU-India Technical Cooperation project was set up by the Government of India and the EU in 2014 to work together and promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in India. The project, which ended in January 2021, was implemented in close cooperation with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, to promote clean energy policies and pilot interventions. It helped facilitate uptake of sustainable technologies by the public and private sectors.