The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will provide up to $15 million to support research addressing end-of-life issues for solar PV panels.
According to an ARENA statement, the agency is seeking to fund projects that improve the economics of recycling through better upfront design, increased recovered material value and innovations for reusing recycled components in new panels.
“Cost savings will enable both large-scale solar PV projects and roof-top PV customers to responsibly manage their waste, without significantly impacting the overall cost of renewable electricity generation,” the statement reads.
In addition to end-of-life issues, the funding round also aims to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of solar PV for new or established applications.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said solar PV panel recycling currently adds cost to the supply chain.
“Research and development can help find innovative solutions to reduce this cost, enabling sustainable and cost effective management of solar panels at the end of their life,” he said.
“More efficient and lower cost solar PV can underpin the growth of a renewable hydrogen industry, can drive the electrification of transport and industrial processes, and can reduce the costs of delivering secure and reliable renewable electricity.”
Expressions of interest are now open.