India to see solar PV waste mounting up

The solar electric energy-related waste in India is to grow to 200,000 tonnes by 2030 and around 1.8 million tonnes by 2050, says a new study.

Currently, the e-waste rules in India, a leading solar energy market in the world, have no laws mandating solar cell manufacturers to recycle or dispose of waste from this sector.

The waste from solar cells includes glass and aluminium that are non-hazardous and polymers, metals, metallic compounds and alloys that are potentially hazardous.

While the government has committed to installing 100 GW of solar power by 2022, about 28 GW of this has already been installed. Much of this comes from imported solar PV cells.

The study report was published by Bridge To India (BTI), an energy consultancy firm.

“…A lack of a policy framework is coupled with the fact that even basic recycling facilities for laminated glass and e-waste are unavailable. Despite the e-waste regulation being in place for over seven years, only less than 4% of estimated e-waste is recycled in the organised sector as per the latest estimates from the Central Pollution Control Board,” the authors of the report said.

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