Catalonia participates in a €7 million European project to accelerate the recycling of photovoltaic panels

Chemistry & Sustainability

05 Dec 2023

The project, called RETRIEVE, will last 3.5 years and will demonstrate the efficiency of using different technologies to recycle components such as glass, silicon, silver, polymers, or heavy metals to produce photovoltaic panels.

Through ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment - the Business Competitiveness Agency of the Ministry of Business and Labour -, Catalonia will participate in a project funded by the European Commission to accelerate the recycling of photovoltaic panels.

With a budget of €7 million and entitled RETRIEVE (Reintegration of photovoltaic panel waste back into manufacturing as high-value products), this initiative involves the participation of 10 European countries to minimize this sector's environmental impact and reduce dependence on raw materials.

The project will run for three and a half years and will demonstrate how different technologies can be used to recycle photovoltaic panel components such as glass, silicon, silver, heavy metals, and polymers. In this way, when the panels reach the end of their useful life, these materials can be reused to make new, next-generation panels. This increases the circularity of the sector and the efficiency of the entire production process of these energy installations.

In fact, one of the project's priorities, which is part of the European Commission's Horizon Europe funding program, is to reduce Europe's excessive dependence on the raw materials needed to produce photovoltaic panels, mainly imported from China. It will also give a new life to obsolete panels while stimulating the growth of the photovoltaic industry on a European scale. 

Norway coordinates the initiative through the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) and involves institutions and companies from Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Romania, Ukraine, Turkey, Lithuania and Spain.

The fact that ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment is one of the members of this consortium will make it possible to align the support services for Catalan companies with the strategies and policies of the European Union in this field, as well as to collaborate with leading international organizations in the sector to bring industrial opportunities to Catalonia.

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