Europe’s first dedicated recycling plant for old solar panels has opened in France. Veolia, an environmental services company, has opened the plant in the town of Rousset, near Marseille, after securing a contract with recycling organisation PV Cycle France. The new deal means that Veolia will recycle 1,300 tonnes of solar panels in 2018, which will increase to 4,000 tonnes by 2022, according to news agency Reuters. “This is the first dedicated solar panel recycling plant in Europe, possibly in the world,” said Gilles Carsuzaa, head of electronics recycling at Veolia. According to Veolia, solar capacity has grown by up to 40 percent a year in France, equivalent to 84,000 tonnes of material in 2017 alone. The plant will now ensure a single panel’s complex array of silver, silicon, glass, copper, and plastics, and copper are dissembled and in working order to make new solar panels. Solar panels have an estimated lifespan of 25 to 30 years, meaning that many of the first generation built in the 1990s are now being decommissioned. Veolia’s initial contract will recycle almost all of the out-of-date solar panels in France this year.
Climate Action 26th June 2018 read more »
Almost 600 million people in Africa alone have no access to electricity, as a result of which huge numbers rely on expensive, dangerous, and far less eco-friendly alternatives such as kerosene lamps. Not only are these a poor source of light, they emit toxic black smoke that is hazardous for human health and the environment. Moreover, they use around 15 per cent of a family’s precious income. Recognising that burgeoning renewable energy technologies could offer a potential solution to the environmental, health and economic barriers posed by the lack of electricity access, Jeremy Leggett – founder of UK solar developer Solarcentury – set up SolarAid in 2006. The organisation, which will be the charity partner at tomorrow’s BusinessGreen Leaders Awards, says its foremost aim is to eradicate the kerosene lamp entirely from sub-Saharan Africa by replacing them with solar powered lights. It may still be far from reaching that overarching goal, but since its inception SolarAid claims to have given 10 million people in Africa access to safe, clean, solar-powered lights, saving families a total of $440m and averting more than two million tonnes of CO2. And, in doing so, it has also helped establish a new market for solar lighting in Africa, according to John Keane, who took over as the charity’s new CEO last September.
Business Green 26th June 2018 read more »