Solar Panel Recycling Market Overview
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 CAGR 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 systems that provide solar energy-based electricity for different residential and commercial applications and 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.
GLOBAL SOLAR PANEL RECYCLING MARKET, BY PROCESS, $M (2013–2023)
Based on the method of recycling, the solar panel recycling market has been categorized into thermal, mechanical, and laser processes. In terms of value, mechanical process held the largest share in the market during the historical period and is estimated to contribute more than 55.0% share to the market in 2017. This can be attributed to the economical and environment-friendly nature of the process.
Based on the solar panel type, the market has been categorized into monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. In value terms, monocrystalline solar panels dominate the solar panel recycling market and are estimated to contribute more than 50.0% share to the market in 2017. The wide preference for monocrystalline solar panels is because of their advantageous features like greater efficiency, superior grade material, relatively higher space efficiency, longer shelf life, and excellent heat resistance, as compared to other solar panels.
In terms of shelf life, the solar panel recycling market has been categorized into normal loss and early loss. The early-loss shelf life category held a larger revenue share in the market during the historical period and is estimated to contribute more than 80.0% to the market in 2017. The early weathering or degradation of solar panels due to maintenance issues, unfavorable weather conditions, and lack of product standardization is the key factor contributing to the larger share of this category in the market.
Geographically, Europe has been the largest market for solar panel recycling in terms of value and is estimated to contribute more than 40.0% share to the market in 2017. During the forecast period, however, the solar panel recycling market is expected to witness the highest growth in APAC. Stringent regulations of the government on solar panel waste management and advancements in technology are driving the market growth in different regions.
Solar Panel Recycling Market Dynamics
Increasing demand for solar panels in emerging economies is providing ample growth opportunities to the players in the market. Favorable government regulations supporting sustainable development is a major factor driving the solar panel recycling market growth.
Sustainable development refers to the controlled and optimized use of resources to make them available for the current and future generations, in addition to reducing related environmental hazards. Rise in global sustainability concerns owing to the energy crisis faced by most of the nations is supporting the use of renewable solar power as a source of energy. The objective of reusing solar panels and their components and reducing their environmental impact is best achieved by means of recycling. Thus, increasing focus on sustainable development is supporting the growth of the solar panel recycling market.
Several regulations, such as the European Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, lay down effective ways of managing and reusing waste related to solar panels. Such regulations and directives are being proposed by the governing bodies of various countries to encourage green projects. In addition, governmental support in the form of subsidies and tax benefits to service providers for taking up renewable energy projects is a factor boosting the growth of the solar panel recycling market.
Growing adoption of solar panels in emerging economies, such as India, China, and South Korea, is expected to create new growth avenues for the solar panel recycling market players during the forecast period. Increasing awareness on the benefits of solar power as a renewable source of energy and rising environmental concerns in these countries are resulting in the increased adoption of solar panels, which, in turn, is creating the need for solar panel recycling. Companies in this market are penetrating into untapped countries or regions to expand their operational footprints and gain a larger market share.
In addition, new manufacturers and service providers are also entering the solar panel recycling market owing to its potential growth prospects. Continuous R&D to develop more efficient recycling methods and technologies is offering new players ample opportunities to gain a competitive edge in the industry. Altogether, these factors indicate that increasing adoption of solar panels in emerging economies is expected to create growth opportunities for the market players in the coming years.
Solar Panel Recycling Market Competitive Landscape
Some of the major players operating in the global solar panel recycling market are Silcontel Ltd., Rinovasol Group, Reiling GmbH & Co. KG, ENVARIS GmbH, ECS Refining LLC, Reclaim PV Recycling Pty. Ltd., Silrec Corporation, Canadian Solar Inc., Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited, and First Solar Inc.