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Dispose of solar panels, all the info

Dispose of solar panels, all the info

Dispose of solar panels: costs, legislation, how to do it and all the instructions ondisposalsolar panels with incentives from the GSE or without.

Solar panels are an investment that can guarantee excellent returns, both in use (with the production of clean electricity) and at the end of their life cycle (they are a real mine). About 15 kg of glass, 2.8 kg of plastic, 2 kg of aluminum, 1 kg of silicon powder and 140 g of copper are recovered from one module. There is no shortage of smaller quantities of other expensive metals such as, for example, silver. In the form of a paste, silver covers the solar cells with percentages even higher than 4%.

Who is running therepoweringof your system, i.e. replacing the old modules with the latest generation (more efficient) panels, will have to face the procedure ofdisposal.

Disposal of the photovoltaic system: what the law says

There legislation which regulates the disposal of photovoltaic panels in Italy is Legislative Decree 151/2005, which associates these panels with common household appliances: photovoltaic panelsare WEEE, "waste from electrical and electronic equipment”.

By law, therefore, it is the producers and importers of photovoltaic modules themselves who must guarantee the correct management of disposal. Disposal methods vary according to theWEEE categoryfor photovoltaics. The WEEE category is stable based on the power of the plant as we will see shortly.

Dispose of thin film solar panels

Thin film solar panels do not belong to the WEEE category and see a different disposal process. If the plant contains a substance called "cadmium tellorideWhich is a toxic substance then dispose of the photovoltaic panels it becomes more complicated for the companies that deal with it and also for the user: the relevant legislation changes. Cadmium telloride is contained in thin-film photovoltaic modules.

The WEEE categories for photovoltaics

Therelegislationprovides for a breakdown of obligations based on the size of the plant to be disposed of. In detail, we have:

  • Photovoltaic systems with a power lower than 10 kWp are considered domestic WEEE. The responsibility of thedisposalis borne by the manufacturer present on the market in the year in which these costs occur, based on the respective market share.

In summary: isolar panelswith power below 10 kWp are considered domestic WEEE anddisposal is freefor the end user because the costs are borne by the producers. The user must give the solar panels to the Collection Centers without incurring disposal costs but providing for the transport of the modules (if the center does not offer it for free).

  • To dispose of systems with power greater than or equal to 10 kWp, installed before 12 April 2014, the responsibility is borne by the manufacturer only in the event ofrepowering.The costs will be borne by the end user if the disposal is not associated with the replacement.

In summary: if the user wants to replace the solar modules with a more efficient system, the manufacturer will bear the disposal costs. If the user wants to dismantle the system without replacing it with a new one, he will have to bear all disposal costs.

  • To dispose of plants with power greater than or equal to 10 kWp, placed on the market after 12 April 2014, the responsibility is again borne by the producers.

Fordispose of solar panelsof a plant with power greater than or equal to 10 kWp, there are differences based on the system ofincentivesexploited.

  • For plants incentivized with the I, II and III Conto Energia, there is a guarantee mechanism required by the GSE. The GSE, in the last 10 years of incentives, withholds a small percentage to cover the costs of recycling and disposal. After six months that the user has disposed of the solar system, the GSE will disburse the amount withheld up to that moment. The GSE will disburse the incentive only after having ascertained the correct disposal of the modules according toWEEE legislation. Proof of correct disposal will be issued upon delivery of the forms to a collection center because the so-called "Declaration of successful delivery of the WEEE deriving from the photovoltaic panel incentivized in the Energy Account ".
  • The plants of the IV and V Conto Energia activated after 1 July 2012 are exempt from the obligations because their management is guaranteed through specific consortia that provide for disposal at the end of their life cycle.

For more information: how to dispose of solar panels