Category Archives: Recycling

Department of Energy Announces Winners of Solar Prize and Two New Innovative Solar Initiatives

Department of Energy News Release           

WASHINGTON, D.C. – [Tuesday], at Solar Power International, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Daniel R Simmons, announced the winners of the first round of the American-Made Solar Prize, a $3 million competition designed to revitalize U.S. solar manufacturing. As part of the prize, the winners each received $500,000 in cash for use at DOE National Laboratories. 

“The American-Made Solar Prize brings together private sector entrepreneurship with expertise at DOE’s national labs to foster next-level innovation in U.S. solar manufacturing,” said Assistant Secretary Simmons. “These transformative technologies will address critical needs in the U.S. solar industry, and develop impactful solutions for industry to utilize and overcome these challenges.”

More information on the Solar Prize winners can be found here. For more information on DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, click HERE.

Read the entire news release here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

FEATURED SOLAR EXAMPLE

The SmartFlower is an all-in-one solar system. The petals open at morning and follow the sun on its path across the sky. They close up at night or if Nebraska winds get too gusty, reopening when the wind dies down. The system is 40% more efficient in energy production than traditional solar. The SmartFlower generates 5.5 Mwh of energy per year. The SmartFlower in the above photo is located at Timberlake Ranch Campus, a Christian family camp at 2709 North S Road, Marquette, Nebraska.  A second SmartFlower was installed at the Nebraska Christian School, 1847 Inskip Avenue in Central City, Nebraska.
SmartFlower Distributor & Installer: Interconnection Systems, Inc. based in Central City
Employment: To apply for a job with Interconnection Systems, Inc., send a cover letter with your C.V. to: info@isi.consulting

HYDROGEN

  • The slow, inexorable rise of green hydrogen, PV Magazine
    The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) believes the production of hydrogen from renewables has the potential to deliver 19 exajoules of energy in 2050. Some 16 TW of solar and wind power generation capacity – 120 exajoules – may be needed to generate green hydrogen or related products from electrolysis by that point. Today the world hosts around 7 TW of total power generation capacity, around 1 TW of which comes from solar and wind, according to IRENA’s Hydrogen: A renewable energy perspective report. An International Energy Agency report on The Future of Hydrogen stated fossil-fueled production of the fuel is responsible for “annual CO2 emissions equivalent to those of Indonesia and the United Kingdom combined”.
  • Electrolysis breakthrough could solve the hydrogen conundrumby Alexandr Simonov, Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Published by Phys.Org.
    Australia, with its abundant sun and wind, has the potential to become a renewable energy superpower. By using electrolysis, hydrogen gas could be created from excess electricity generated by large renewable electricity projects. This hydrogen could be used as a fuel within Australia and exported to countries hungry for fossil fuels alternatives.

Energy Department Announces Battery Recycling Prize and Battery Recycling R&D Center

Department of Energy News Release, January 17, 2019

Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced the launch of a Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize and the establishment of an associated Battery Recycling R&D Center. These efforts aim to reclaim and recycle critical materials (e.g., cobalt and lithium) from lithium-based battery technology used in consumer electronics, defense, energy storage, and transportation applications.

“America’s dependence on foreign sources of critical materials undermines our energy security and national security,” said Perry. “DOE will leverage the power of competition and the resources of the private sector, universities, and the National Laboratories to develop innovative recycling technologies, which will bolster economic growth, strengthen our energy security, and improve the environment.” Read the entire news release here.

Image Credit: Tesla

THE LITHIUM-ION BATTERY MARKET 

Global lithium-ion battery market expected to exceed $60B by 2024: report, Utility Dive
Global Market Insights released a report Monday estimating that the lithium-ion (li-ion) battery global market size will exceed $60 billion by 2024.

THE PV RECYCLING MARKET  

Prescient & Strategic Market Research, May 2018
The global solar panel recycling market is estimated to be valued at $80.7 million in 2017 and is projected to reach $269.8 million by 2023, witnessing a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 22.0% during the forecast period. Increasing adoption of solar power as a source of energy and favorable government regulations supporting sustainable development are the key factors driving the market growth. Solar panels are made up of glass, aluminum, synthetic materials, silicon, and other metals, which can be separated through the process of recycling, after the completion of the panels’ lifecycle.
Read a summary of the report here.

IRENA Research Report, June 2016
A study by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), End-of-life management: Solar Photovoltaic Panels, estimates that recovered raw materials alone from solar modules could be worth $450 million by 2030, and $15 billion by 2050.

PV RECYCLING INITIATIVES

SEIA National PV Recycling Program. Members of the Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA) are committed to responsible end-of-life management and are proactively developing collection and recycling processes for the solar industry. Many SEIA member module manufacturers already operate take-back and recycling programs for their products. By creating a member-based program that aggregates the services offered by recycling vendors and PV manufacturers, SEIA is making it easier to select a cost-effective and environmentally responsible end-of-life management solution. This effort also enables others in the industry to access recyclers for their disposal needs. See Also:  SEIA Factsheet: PV Waste 101: The Solar Industry’s Proactive Plan for Waste Management (PDF)


Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute 
The Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard guides designers and manufacturers through a continual improvement process that looks at a product through five quality categories: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness.

 


PV Cycle USA
SunPower Corporation is the founder and on the board of directors of PV Cycle. The business has a worldwide program in place to cover the costs for de-installation, collection, reuse and recycling for all purchased and leased systems under the warranty period.

 

Product Stewardship Institute – Solar Panels
The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) provides technical assistance and monitors and advocates for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) solar panel stewardship legislation, using as models Washington State’s Solar Power Incentive Law and lessons learned from more than a decade of recycling programs in Europe. PSI seeks to educate their members and other stakeholders about the need for new collection and recycling infrastructure. In January 2018 PSI hosted their first webinar.

WASHINGTON’S PHOTOVOLTAIC MODULE STEWARDSHIP AND TAKEBACK PROGRAM

Washington became the first state in the nation to enact a solar stewardship bill (ESSB 5939) in July 2017. One section of the bill, Chapter 70.355 RCW, created the state’s Photovoltaic Module Stewardship and Takeback Program. The Department of Ecology’s process must be fully implemented and stewardship plan guidance completed by July 1, 2019. Manufacturers must prepare and submit a stewardship plan to the department by January 1, 2020, or within thirty days of its first sale of a photovoltaic module in or into the state. Beginning January 1, 2021, no manufacturer may sell or offer for sale a photovoltaic module in or into the state unless the manufacturer has submitted to the department a stewardship plan and received plan approval.