Solar energy powers 4 percent of the world’s electricity, according to The International Energy Agency — the result of record-breaking growth in clean energy over the last 20-plus years. That’s the good news. At the same time, 8 million metric tons of solar panels are nearing the end of their (25-30 year) life expectancy and could be headed to landfills by 2030. Not so good.
Preparing for this onslaught of decommissioned solar panels requires us to advance the solar panel recycling process. It’s a critical step to fortify the solar industry’s effectiveness and reputation as a sustainable source of clean energy.