Meeting Solar PV and Battery Demand Through Recycling

The demand is here, but can we meet it?

Battery electric vehicles and PV Solar is expected to grow to 50% of all cars being manufactured and 30% of all electricity being produced by the year 2030. Even with sustained growth, the mining industry alone will not be able to meet and sustain the demand required for this scale of Solar Panel and EV adoption.

The production of Solar panels and batteries require lithium, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, silver, and aluminum just to name a few. Some of these materials are available in abundance while others are scarce.

A few years ago critics argued that battery technology was “unsustainable” as no recycling process for lithium batteries had yet existed, however today we are seeing new processes being developed to facilitate effective, large scale battery recycling. We only have a finite amount of resources that can be mined economically, we need recycling in order to come close to meeting future demands.

Increased metal recycling translates to less energy used and a lower lifecycle carbon impact, additionally recycled materials are often cheaper due to the absence initial extraction costs.

Learning from Aluminum

The Aluminum industry is a great example of how large scale recycling efforts have led to a material that is recycled 63.6% of the time on average. Due to its price and inherent characteristics Aluminum is used in auto manufacturing, building materials, conductors, and the beverage industry.

Here are a few statistics on aluminum recycling from RTS.com

Aluminum recycling achieves a high level of participation due to the relative simplicity and financial reward associated with it. The iterative design approach of PV Solar panels and batteries will ultimately lead to products than can be disassembled with ease to help streamline the recycling process, but that is still only half of the solution.

Your Waste is Valuable!

If your business is not currently recycling, it should be.

Each year millions of dollars worth of recyclable materials find their way into landfills. With a greater demand for metals and minerals this dollar figure is expected to grow, so does the potential value that can be generated for your business.

Create a corporate recycling strategy, understand the value of what may otherwise be destined for a landfill.

Create a Recyclable Inventory

  • Take an inventory of your waste,
  • Identify what can be reused or recycled, and
  • Establish the necessary infrastructure to facilitate those efforts.

Recycling can create additional value or potentially another revenue stream for your business,

All while reducing your carbon emissions.

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