Greening solar energy through waste management
The waste generated is left out in barren lands in an unscientific manner
With the rising installations the solar waste accumulations will also rise to huge extent on their life cycle completion (Image: Pixabay)

The shift to renewable energy sources is inevitable and of the various energy sources solar energy has a huge potential. The production of electricity with the usage of solar photovoltaic technology is the most promising after wind and hydro technology.

With the availability of increased installations of solar panels, the energy production has risen to drastic a level in India and other developed countries. Due to its location on tropical region India receives approximately 300 clear sunny days on yearly basis. Per year 5000 trillion kWh energy falls on India and most parts receive 4–7 kWh per sq. m per day.

Numerous policies have been initiated by MNRE, NISE etc. in India to ensure quick development of electricity. International solar alliance launched in the year 2015 aimed at establishment of association with high insolation receiving countries. Through this energy requirement can be met up to huge extent. India has ranked fifth across the globe in grid connected solar power sector.

Major achievements are established in the rural areas to provide them with electricity with the help of solar photovoltaic system. Indian government has initiated various schemes to upsurge the solar energy sector.

By 2022 an estimated 100 GW solar power plant installation target is being setup by the MNRE, of which 60 GW is grid connected solar power plants and 40 GW in rooftops is being targeted for installations. Solar power parks are also to be installed for up to 40 GW capacity till 2022.

With the rising installations the solar waste accumulations will also rise to huge extent on their life cycle completion. Rising installations hold the due diligent crisis of waste management in terms of primary and secondary waste generated during and after their end life attainment. Components utilized in the PV system are under the waste generated in primary category.

The paper ‘Current situation analysis of solar photovoltaic waste management in India’ by Sheoran et al presents the core reality of existing solar waste management in India and barriers obstructing the managerial policy. DPSIR (drivers, pressures, state, impact and response) approach is utilized to effectively manage the end life of the solar panels.

DPSIR plan for Indian scenario has been put forward here in figure below to effectively understand the management of solar panels at their end life.

Comparative analysis between existing solar waste management policies in India and other countries across the globe has been established. Solar waste management strategies across the world have been evaluated and solar waste management policy has been proposed here for India.

Further the operating success of the proposed policy has been evaluated on the basis of vigour, vulnerability, convenience and risk involved for future prospects. Utmost vigour and outcome of the proposed policy will be observed if they are implanted on every niche of waste generation through all collaborators.

Detailed approach analysis is established to understand the growing solar panel waste management scenario in India and further a framework of regulations is established. To know the existing realities of solar waste management in India the evaluation of exact problem and study of existing measures to handle the solar panel waste is executed in the study.

Establishment of understanding the solar photovoltaic installations and their dissolution and further the challenges, barriers and opportunities in context to end life management of solar panel waste management. Through the literature complete life cycle analysis in terms of the inventory strings, constituent outpouring, infrastructure setup and other working setup to manage the solar panel waste of the nation.

Validation of the accumulated knowledge related to the ground reality of the solar panel waste in India is lured out with consultations of experts and through publications. Collection of data for the study was achieved through DPSIR (drivers, pressure, state, impact and response) design.

This specific design provided a comprehensive acceptance of the end life solar panel waste management of India. This will help in understanding the dire need of concern towards this issue before it is gathered as a havoc. The comprehension established would lead to the administrative fabrication of policies to look into this concerning matter.

Governing approaches by the other countries for the regulation and management of end life solar panel waste management were analysed critically. Through this analysis preferable and economically appropriate resolution for India could be enacted.


To know the ground realities of end life management of solar photovoltaic waste sector of India extensive qualitative evaluation was performed. This has helped in proposing forward the regulative framework as shown here in this paper.

Solar photovoltaic waste management sector is deeply neglected and is left only in the hands of the informal sector dealing in scrap. Infrastructure to recycle and reclaim the materials from the solar panels is lacking. Also, a proper institute to handle this process commercially is not build up yet. The waste generated is left out in barren lands in an unscientific manner.

This undisciplined management of the waste has put forward environmental deteriorating effects in terms of leaching of toxic substances into land and soil. Human health is also being affected.

The proposed legislative framework here is motivated from the initiated regulations prevailing in the developed countries. Consultation from the experts and DPSIR strategy was a great helping hand to assess the Indian situation of solar photovoltaic waste management.

Legislative framework so proposed here could be effectively practiced at regional and national level to flourish the engagement of diverse stakeholders. These are involved in the supply chain into cooperation at different levels.

Features of the regulatory framework

  • Management of the solar panel waste should be incorporated at the level of the manufacturer so that this matter is handled at the levels of very initial stage by enabling the Extended producer responsibility.
  • Research & development is to be established at the technical levels so as to enhance the waste management programs at the country level.
  • Skill enhancement and educational precision is to be set up to tackle the waste at governing organization in the nation.
  • Solar waste management drives should be established among the natives of the country.
  • With a proper managerial and operational set up a waste collection center should be established at national and regional level so that effective take back system is established to reclaim materials from the worn-out panels.
  • Landfill treatment to the solar waste is to be reduced or avoided and procurement of green ways to tackle the waste should be put forward.
  • Approach to manage the solar waste can be adopted for the stakeholders at the various levels.

The study does an analysis of gaps to rule out the solar waste management procedures in other nations and establishment of functional legislative framework in India. This would be a great aid to regulate the end life management of solar waste in India.

The full paper can be viewed here

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