The Solar Panel End of life planning project commenced in April 2019 and was developed in response to the need to commence end of life planning for solar panel waste in the NT. EOL planning offers the potential not only to address environmental threats but to offset the cost of managing these threats through recycling of existing panels.

Stage 1 of this project gathers baseline data regarding the volume of PV panels, geographic distribution, % recoverable materials and calculates future waste trajectories as well as reviewing current policies and programs for addressing solar waste. Potential options/models for end-of-life management will be identified, including those that utilise the local labour force and provide potential business opportunities. Local solutions are required given the NT’s particular geographic and demographic circumstances which may not readily lend themselves to potential systems and methods that would be cost-effective in larger urban areas. As a result, stage 1 will consider a range of potential options and strategies for end-of-life management of PV panels in the Territory.

The project partners include Charles Darwin University (Northern Institute), Desert Knowledge Australia through the Intyalheme Centre for Future Energy and Local Government Association of the NT (LGANT). The project is funded by RDA NT and NTG through an NT Environment Grant.

A draft report is in preparation and it is anticipated that the initial findings from stage 1 will be workshopped with key stakeholders in the first half of 2020.

Solar panels at Desert Knowledge Australia

Government sponsored