Can solar panels be recycled?

Posted in Getting battery storage

Kid holding a recycling bin

We all know solar energy is good for the planet. But if you’re getting solar panels and/or a battery, you want to know that they’re not going to contribute to landfill when they eventually reach the end of their lifespan in around a quarter of a century. 


Solar panels and batteries can be recycled

Solar panels and batteries are recyclable and there are processes in place to do this. In Australia, Reclaim PV leads the way in solar panel recycling – you can pay the company to come and pick up your old solar panels from anywhere in Australia. Meanwhile, Envirostream handles battery recycling and you can drop off a battery, get it picked up or even deliver it to the company. 

Beyond recycling, new technologies such as upcycling are also now being trialed. The purpose of upcycling is to transform the materials used in solar panels into other useful materials such as concrete fill and replacing sand.

Solar recycling needs to be scaled up over the next decade or so in order to cope with the 2.3 million households with rooftop solar. However we’ve got another 10 years or so to scale up these capabilities because solar panels have a 20-30 year lifespan and have mostly been installed since around 2010. Batteries too have a 10-15 year lifespan and the uptake of residential solar batteries has just picked up over the last few years. 


Should I wait for recycling to pick up before getting solar? 

If you’re waiting for solar recycling capabilities to catch up because you’re concerned about your impact on the environment, you might be doing more harm than good. 

Solar panels generate renewable energy that replaces the coal-based energy you would be buying from your power company, while batteries maximise your use of that solar power and minimise your need to buy any of that dirty power. 

So the sooner you go solar, the sooner you’ll start reducing your carbon footprint.

Plus, you’ll have 10-15 years for recycling to scale up. After all, you probably have a mobile phone. Perhaps a laptop too? Lithium ion solar battery technology is essentially the same tech that’s used in these devices. But you don’t let that stop you from buying one, do you? 

Better to start using clean solar power now while the industry catches up.


Get your solar from a company that’s fighting for renewables

At DC Power Co, we’re dedicated to driving Australia’s shift to renewable energy and we believe that starts in the home. 

So we’ve put together a solar and battery package that brings world-leading, tier 1 solar panels together with an Australian-designed battery solution in one streamlined, cost-effective package. 

The package comes in a range of sizes depending on your energy needs, household set-up and budget. Plus there are financing options available so you can start saving with your solar and battery system now, and pay it off over time. 

View the solar and battery package


If you already have solar, but want to add a battery, check out our solar battery package.

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