Advanced

Framtida återvinning av solcellspaneler i Sverige – en kvantitativ analys och intervjustudie

Ouchterlony, Anna LU (2020) FMIM01 20192
Environmental and Energy Systems Studies
Abstract
In Sweden, the amount of solar power has increased and so has the amount of installed solar panels. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the current state of knowledge about the handling and future recycling of the obsolete solar panels, originally installed between 2009 and 2018. This is done both by finding out the amounts of installed solar panels and by investigating the roles and attitudes of the different actors involved. This was accomplished in part by a quantitative calculation of the amounts of metals in the solar panels, using an input-output model, and an estimation of its economic value, in part by an interview study with respondents from different parts of the industry, as well as a literature study to gather insights from... (More)
In Sweden, the amount of solar power has increased and so has the amount of installed solar panels. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the current state of knowledge about the handling and future recycling of the obsolete solar panels, originally installed between 2009 and 2018. This is done both by finding out the amounts of installed solar panels and by investigating the roles and attitudes of the different actors involved. This was accomplished in part by a quantitative calculation of the amounts of metals in the solar panels, using an input-output model, and an estimation of its economic value, in part by an interview study with respondents from different parts of the industry, as well as a literature study to gather insights from the current research and input from an international perspective.

The results from the quantitative part show that the quantities of obsolete solar panels do not justify the investment in a specialized solar cell treatment facility in Sweden. Other ways of retaining the included metals in their loop longer should be considered. The result of the qualitative part identifies several barriers and opportunities for improved resource efficiency throughout the lifecycle of the photovoltaic panel. The barriers are first and foremost economic, linked to the volume requirements for economic profitability, but also how the extended producer responsibility and its fees are designed today, as they do not push for recycling promotion measures. The identified barriers are also legal, logistical and knowledge-based. In general, the barriers differ for the not yet produced panels and for those that have been installed and are expected to become obsolete within the next 25 years.

Finally, on the one hand, there is a wide spread positive attitude among the actors in the solar cell industry to seize the opportunity for proactive action given with the long-expected life time of the solar cells, to achieve resource efficient management in the pursuit of a circular economy. On the other hand, the forecasted volumes of obsolete panels in Sweden indicate that an economically profitable facility where these are handled specifically, will not be possible within the near future. Thus, it is considered unlikely that actors will take voluntary measures, and guiding tools such as eco-labeling and differentiated producer’s responsibility fees, are needed. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
I Sverige har mängden solel ökat och mängden installerade solcellspaneler likaså. Den här uppsatsens syfte är att analysera kunskapsläget kopplat till hanteringen och den framtida återvinningen av de uttjänta solcellspaneler som installerades i Sverige mellan år 2009 och år 2018. Detta sker både genom att ta reda på vilka mängder solcellspaneler det rör sig om, och genom att undersöka de olika aktörernas roll/inställning. Detta utfördes dels genom en kvantitativ beräkning av mängderna metaller i solcellspanelerna, med hjälp av en input-outputmodell, och uppskattning av dess ekonomiska värde, dels en intervjustudie med respondenter från olika delar av branschen, samt en litteraturstudie för att samla in underlag från forskningen och ta del... (More)
I Sverige har mängden solel ökat och mängden installerade solcellspaneler likaså. Den här uppsatsens syfte är att analysera kunskapsläget kopplat till hanteringen och den framtida återvinningen av de uttjänta solcellspaneler som installerades i Sverige mellan år 2009 och år 2018. Detta sker både genom att ta reda på vilka mängder solcellspaneler det rör sig om, och genom att undersöka de olika aktörernas roll/inställning. Detta utfördes dels genom en kvantitativ beräkning av mängderna metaller i solcellspanelerna, med hjälp av en input-outputmodell, och uppskattning av dess ekonomiska värde, dels en intervjustudie med respondenter från olika delar av branschen, samt en litteraturstudie för att samla in underlag från forskningen och ta del av ett internationellt perspektiv.

Resultatet av den kvantitativa delen visar att mängderna uttjänta solcellspaneler inte motiverar investeringen i en specialiserad behandlingsanläggning för solcellspaneler i Sverige, utan andra sätt att behålla de ingående metallerna i dess kretslopp bör övervägas. Den kvalitativa delens resultat identifierar ett antal barriärer och möjligheter för en förbättrad resurseffektivitet genom solcellspanelens hela livscykel. Barriärerna är först och främst ekonomiska, kopplat till volymkraven för ekonomisk lönsamhet, samt utformningen av producentansvaret och dess avgift, då de i nuläget inte driver på återvinningsfrämjande åtgärder. Utöver det identifierades även juridiska, logistiska och kunskaps-/ informationsrelaterade barriärer. Barriärerna skiljer sig generellt åt för de ännu inte tillverkade solcellspanelerna och de som installerats och förväntas bli uttjänta inom de närmaste 25 åren.

Slutligen konstateras å ena sidan att det finns en positiv inställning bland aktörer i solcellsbranschen att ta tillvara den möjlighet till proaktivt agerande som ges i och med solcellernas långa livslängd, att få till stånd en resurseffektiv hantering i strävan mot en cirkulär ekonomi. Å andra sidan pekar de prognosticerade volymerna av uttjänta paneler i Sverige på att det inte kommer att gå att få till en ekonomiskt lönsam anläggning där dessa hanteras specifikt. Därmed bedöms det osannolikt att aktörer kommer att vidta frivilliga åtgärder, vilket motiverar behovet av styrande medel. Exempel på dessa kan vara miljömärkningar och differentierade producentansvarsavgifter. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Ouchterlony, Anna LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Future recycling of solar PV in Sweden - a quantitative analysis and interview study
course
FMIM01 20192
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Solceller, solpaneler, kritiska metaller, materialintensitet, resurseffektivitet, metallåtervinning, kretslopp, cirkulär ekonomi
report number
ISRN LUTFD2/TFEM-20/5155--SE + (1-75)
ISSN
1102-3651
language
Swedish
id
9006745
date added to LUP
2020-03-19 15:24:12
date last changed
2020-03-19 15:24:12
@misc{9006745,
  abstract     = {In Sweden, the amount of solar power has increased and so has the amount of installed solar panels. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the current state of knowledge about the handling and future recycling of the obsolete solar panels, originally installed between 2009 and 2018. This is done both by finding out the amounts of installed solar panels and by investigating the roles and attitudes of the different actors involved. This was accomplished in part by a quantitative calculation of the amounts of metals in the solar panels, using an input-output model, and an estimation of its economic value, in part by an interview study with respondents from different parts of the industry, as well as a literature study to gather insights from the current research and input from an international perspective. 

The results from the quantitative part show that the quantities of obsolete solar panels do not justify the investment in a specialized solar cell treatment facility in Sweden. Other ways of retaining the included metals in their loop longer should be considered. The result of the qualitative part identifies several barriers and opportunities for improved resource efficiency throughout the lifecycle of the photovoltaic panel. The barriers are first and foremost economic, linked to the volume requirements for economic profitability, but also how the extended producer responsibility and its fees are designed today, as they do not push for recycling promotion measures. The identified barriers are also legal, logistical and knowledge-based. In general, the barriers differ for the not yet produced panels and for those that have been installed and are expected to become obsolete within the next 25 years.

Finally, on the one hand, there is a wide spread positive attitude among the actors in the solar cell industry to seize the opportunity for proactive action given with the long-expected life time of the solar cells, to achieve resource efficient management in the pursuit of a circular economy. On the other hand, the forecasted volumes of obsolete panels in Sweden indicate that an economically profitable facility where these are handled specifically, will not be possible within the near future. Thus, it is considered unlikely that actors will take voluntary measures, and guiding tools such as eco-labeling and differentiated producer’s responsibility fees, are needed.},
  author       = {Ouchterlony, Anna},
  issn         = {1102-3651},
  keyword      = {Solceller,solpaneler,kritiska metaller,materialintensitet,resurseffektivitet,metallåtervinning,kretslopp,cirkulär ekonomi},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Framtida återvinning av solcellspaneler i Sverige – en kvantitativ analys och intervjustudie},
  year         = {2020},
}