Thursday, January 4, 2018
Solar panels emerged as an energy source in the early 1990’s, and as the technology advanced and became more affordable, more U.S. households and businesses installed these devices. Fast forward to today – nearly thirty years later – and many of the first installed solar panels are in need of replacement. Solar modules contain hazardous materials, rare earth elements, and other materials that must be managed safely and responsibly, some of which have tangible economic value. What is the best way to manage spent solar panels, and how can we incorporate these products into the circular economy?
Washington State is leading the way in addressing the post-consumer management of spent solar panels. They recently passed a first-in-the-nation law (the Solar Incentives Job Bill (ESSB 5939)) requiring solar panel manufacturers to finance and manage the collection and processing of post-consumer photovoltaic modules. This extended producer responsibility law will reduce waste, increase recycling, save money for governments, and create jobs.
In this webinar, speakers from Washington State and the solar panel industry will discuss the environmental and economic problems with post-consumer solar panels, Washington’s law, and how others can take the lead in properly managing these products when consumers are done with them.