Even objects and products born with a ecological vocation are bound to become cumbersome waste: just like photovoltaic panels, whose average “cycle life” is 25 year, after which they become just scrap with a heavy impact on the environment.

The solar power industry has started worrying about that, although there are still a few more years left before the problem becomes a real emergency (expected for 2015). So solar panel companies are working on a program aimed at developing a system for collecting and recycling obsolete photovoltaic modules.

As a result, Pv Cycle, the industry organisation for recycling solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, has decided to initiate a solar PV module take-back and recycling programme in 2010, firstly in Germany then in the rest of Europe.

“The overwhelming endorsement of the 2010 operating budget, new statutes and by-laws by the Members of PV CYCLE represents a key milestone in implementing the photovoltaic (PV) industry’s voluntary commitment to collect and recycle modules at end-of-life,” says Karsten Wambach, PV CYCLE’s President.

“The PV industry is committed to be ‘double green’ by not only providing clean and renewable energy to address climate change but also to ensure that the solutions to climate change today don’t pose a waste management issue for future generations.”

Jan Clyncke, Managing Director of PV CYCLE, adds: “The actions are a significant milestone toward the implementation of a voluntary take-back and recycling programme for the PV industry. Such an agreement will represent for the first time that an industry sector in Europe has organised itself on a voluntary basis to ensure collection and recycling of its products at end-of-life. I am extremely pleased to lead an industry organization with such foresight and commitment to ‘Making the photovoltaic industry DoubleGreen.”

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