India stares at a pile of solar e- waste
India’s PV (photovoltaic) waste volume is estimated to grow to 200,000 tonnes by 2030 and around 1.8 million tonnes
By 2050, India will likely stare at a pile of a new category of electronic waste, namely solar e-waste. Currently, India’s
e-waste rules have no laws mandating solar cell manufacturers to recycle or dispose waste from this sector.
India is among the leading markets for solar cells in the world, buoyed by the government’s commitment to install
100 GW of solar power by 2022. So far, India has installed solar cells for about 28 GW and this is largely from imported
solar PV cells.
Solar cell modules are made by processing sand to make silicon, casting silicon ingots, using wafers to create cells and
then assembling them to make modules.
India’s domestic manufacturers are largely involved in assembling cells and modules.
These modules are 80% glass and aluminium, and non-hazardous. Other materials used, including polymers, metals,
metallic compounds and alloys, and are classified as potentially hazardous, says the study.