Who Will Pay the Cost of Solar Recycling?
Solar panels are the future of energy generation worldwide. Industry analysts predict that solar will provide more than half of the world’s electricity by 2050, and it will only grow from there. Almost 90% of the solar panels used in America today were installed in the last six years. So, in around 20 years when these panels reach replacement age, there’s going to be massive demand for recycling. Who should shoulder the cost of solar recycling? That’s one question that industry insiders are debating in 2023.
The Demand for Solar Panel Recycling Will Increase Dramatically
Just a couple of years ago, America produced around 2,500 metric tons of solar panel waste for recycling. By 2050, that figure will increase to about 2 million metric tons. Solar panels are highly recyclable because they’re made from materials like steel, aluminum, glass, and silicon. All these materials can be extracted, repurposed, and put back into a circular supply chain.
The main concern today is that the infrastructure doesn’t exist to recycle these materials quickly. There are exciting developments in this area. Earlier this year, British researchers found an eco-friendly way to break down solar panels with chemical reactions. We can expect that by 2050, the recycling industry will be much more robust than it is today.
Bloomberg Law posted a story this month questioning who should pay the cost of recycling. The article noted that Washington requires solar panel manufacturers to recycle their panels for free, taking the burden away from consumers and municipal governments. California, the biggest solar state in America, is considering a similar regulation.
In New York State there’s a framework for solar recycling, but nothing has been decided in terms of who will pay the cost of solar recycling. These questions will be answered as time goes on but as a homeowner, you might have some concerns. Will the cost of solar recycling fall on you?
The answer to this is no. Solar companies will take your old panels away before installing new ones. While you might see news stories about the cost of recycling being in the millions, this applies only to grid-scale solar farms and the cost is mostly in the removal and logistics of getting these panels processed and broken down. On average, it only costs between $15 and $45 to recycle one solar panel in America, and the material yield from this is worth much more.
In short, you don’t need to worry about the cost of solar recycling, but this is an interesting part of the solar industry that will develop and mature as solar becomes more prevalent.
Are You Ready for Solar Power on Long Island?
If you own a home on Long Island, then you could benefit from a solar installation. Solar power on Long Island can generate huge savings over time by reducing your reliance on the grid. Solar panels are durable and can reliably work with very little maintenance outside of cleaning. Best of all, you can get solar installed with no money down financing and an interest-free period based on incoming solar tax credits.
Long Island Power Solutions is a licensed solar installer on Long Island. We’re locally based, offer a 25-year warranty, and are ready to start planning your switch to solar.
Get a Cost/Benefit Analysis for Your Long Island Solar Installation
The cost of solar recycling matters for large solar farms because it ties into the cost/benefit analysis. At home, solar panel recycling isn’t an issue due to the difference in scale. You can get your cost/benefit report from Long Island Power Solutions. We’ll start with a free solar estimate and take you through a detailed consultation from there. A Long Island solar installation could be the best home improvement that you ever make. Talk to us today to start the consultation process.