Turning Solar Panel Waste challenges into Opportunities

Home|Turning Solar Panel Waste challenges into Opportunities

Solar energy is experiencing meteoric growth, notably in developing economies in hotter, sunnier parts of the world. The African Solar Industry Association (“AFCIA”), for example, has identified more than 7,600 solar projects in various stages of development, with more than a thousand currently operational. But the rapid adoption of solar power to meet electricity demands is also giving rise to significant challenges when it comes to waste…


In the latest Opportunité Africa podcast, Co-Founder of EnerScale and Connect Africa member, Saki Kobayashi, discusses the potential of EnerScale, a data-driven B2B platform that seeks to solve the impending crisis of solar panel waste.


‘The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) projects that global solar photovoltaic (PV) waste will reach 78 million tonnes by 2050,’ Kobayashi says. ‘To avoid an environmental catastrophe and also to contribute to the green job market, it’s imperative that we establish a circular economy that promotes proper maintenance of panels, plus repair, reuse and recycling.’


‘With EnerScale, which is currently under R&D, solar operators can plan for end-of-life management of their panels and check whether there’s demand for when they get decommissioned. At the same time, solar reuse companies and recyclers can use the platform to discover panels that will soon be available and use our data-analysis tool to perform a pre-inspection. We’ll also be offering APIs and white-label solutions to companies and local governments that are keen to create their own circular economy platform.’


Kobayashi sees huge potential in Africa’s burgeoning solar energy market: ‘It’s an opportunity to integrate circular practices from the outset – by (1) establishing waste regulations, (2) robust markets for used panels and (3) recycling technology for used panels. EnerScale is actively seeking partnerships on the continent, with solar operators, owners, reuse companies, recyclers and local governments. By collaborating with stakeholders, we hope our platform can foster a global circular economy, minimising waste and maximizing the environmental and economic potential of solar energy.’


Listen to the full interview and subscribe to the podcast.

Connect Africa


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