EnergyMay 17, 2022
The Long-Term Challenges of Solar Power Systems: Managing Panel and Battery End of Life
Lebanon’s electricity dilemma is being heavily impacted by the continued deep economic crisis the country is witnessing. The inability of the government to finance power production by securing Electricité du Liban’s (EDL) fuel needs for the existing power plants has led to dramatic rationing in the total power production as energy prices surge at an unprecedented rate. This has caused a remarkable rush towards the installation of increasingly competitive renewable energy sources, most notably solar photovoltaic (PV) and batteries (or solar kits), which are now being widely deployed by households and businesses across Lebanon.
Solar power is safe, reliable, efficient, and emission-clean. Yet, despite the relatively long lifetime of solar panels of around 15 years, the efficacy of these panels will degrade overtime and will eventually be disposed of, what poses a waste risk of alarming proportions. Same goes for the batteries (in both types, lead-acid or Li-ion) that have a much shorter lifespan of around 3-4 years. In fact, these items contain lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), lithium (Li) and many other harmful chemicals that can leach into the soil and eventually contaminate drinking water sources.
This webinar aims to explore available options for an environmentally sound end-of-life management of PV power systems (panels and batteries). The discussion will explore how such waste management practices could encourage the recycling and repurposing of some of PV power systems essential components taking into consideration Lebanon’s recycling expertise.