Context and objectives
Off-grid solar technologies are creating an immense positive impact in India by bringing energy access to large sections of society that were previously cut-off from essential modern technologies. This is enabling the wider adoption of electrical and electronic products such as televisions, refrigerators, fans, mobile phones and computers well beyond urban confines.
Although the benefits of energy access in improving quality of life are well documented, there are gaps in ensuring a circular economy for solar products. The main challenges at the end-of-life for solar products in India are:
- Little or no understanding of the routes and mechanisms of disposal
- No existing infrastructure for collection, particularly from more rural and remote areas
- High cost of transport and recycling that is not compensated by the intrinsic value of the waste products.
Off-grid solar products share common components and fractions with end-of-life electronics, batteries and vehicles. The solar industry can therefore learn from the experiences and leverage on the existing infrastructure for take-back and recycling of end-of-life electronics and automotive/industrial batteries.
This project aims to design and test a blueprint for responsible management of solar waste in India and help upscale local capacity for managing such a waste stream. The project consists of two core modules with the following main objectives:
Module 1: Collection and Recycling Pilot
- Establishing a financial and technical baseline for the collection and recycling of solar waste according to applicable standards
Module 2: Incubation and Technology Transfer
- Identification of appropriate technology and approaches for development of local collection and treatment capacity
- Support the development of dedicated local infrastructure for key fractions of solar products
This sector-wide project is supported with initial seed-funding from Signify Foundation and GOGLA supports the initiative as the voice of the off-grid solar industry.