From design to recycling, opportunities abound to make solar more circular

November 6, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on From design to recycling, opportunities abound to make solar more circular

From design to recycling, opportunities abound to make solar more circular Myisha Majumder Fri, 11/06/2020 – 02:00 Solar has become a staple of the U.S. power generation mix in the last decade. Now that the industry is maturing, it’s time to have a tough conversation: The solar industry needs to improve its circular practices. Like any industry, the solar industry has unique machinery and equipment; specifically, its photovoltaic (PV) cells have silicon, metal, glass and plastic components that are melded together in order to create a functioning solar panel. But these cells have a limited lifespan of about 25-30 years. Most of the component materials retain their value, however, and can be reused to participate in the circular economy, the economic system that aims to keep resources in use and eliminate waste. At GreenBiz Group’s virtual clean economy conference, VERGE 20 , last week, industry experts discussed the complexities of circularity in solar. The solar industry is still growing — the International Energy Agency predicts that total renewable based power capacity will grow by 50 percent between now and 2024, and 60 percent of that rise will be attributed to solar. Given this rapid increase and dependency on solar, Evelyn Butler of Solar Energy Industry Alliance (SEIA) emphasized that with increased capacity comes increased waste. The International Energy Agency predicts that total renewable based power capacity will grow by 50% between now and 2024, and 60% of that will be solar. “By 2030, with that much PV, there’s a potential of something like 8 million tons of potential PV waste,” Butler said. It’s also a global opportunity of about “$450 million in raw material recovery that could be leveraged for new industries or employment.” The challenge is making PV waste recycling and repurposing more efficient than it currently is in order to move towards a more circular economy. A more circular solar industry at the manufacturing level Some of these opportunities arise at the solar manufacturing level. As Andreas Wade of First Solar explained, the energy-resource nexus is a top priority at First Solar. The company works throughout the production, deployment and maintenance parts of the solar industry. Since 2005, First Solar has been a part of an established global recycling and take-back program for its panels since 2005. To Wade, a major area of development for circular economy practices in the solar industry is repurposing materials used to create solar cells, like crystalline silicon and aluminum. But designing products for end-of-life in a way that the materials can be reused or repurposed can be a challenge. Wade described the apparent conflict: “We want to deliver a solution to our customers, which is out there in the field for 25, 30, 35 or even 40 years or longer. So design for recycling means for us that we try to make sure that we hit the quality, reliability and longevity marks, as well as making sure that we can recover the materials encapsulated and embodied in our PV module at the end of life in a high volume fashion.” By considering circular economy practices from the onset of designing solar panels, materials can be more efficiently reused and recycled, rather than considered in hindsight at the end. A more circular solar industry at the recycling level For First Solar, material recovery goes beyond the traditional model of bulk recycling and recovering glass and aluminum, but also taking back the semiconductor system such that it can be reused in new panels. Wade claimed that First Solar is now able to recover 90 percent of its panel’s semiconductor functions. Butler echoed these challenges but said that manufacturers are beginning the process of overcoming them. In her experience so far at SEIA, Butler has mainly seen repurposing of solar materials that “have been damaged, either the weather events or logistics, or sometimes their installation”. This is in contrast to the traditional end-of-life planning First Solar is employing, but can still be a large number of materials that should be repurposed for sustainability. Other opportunities include companies standing as the middleman for selling excess modules from installers. Other opportunities also include companies standing as the middleman for selling excess modules from installers. Both Wade and Butler argued that such repurposing will only be optimized with outside pressure from the customers of such companies. Wade encouraged users to ask their providers questions like: “What are you doing about circularity? Do you offer a recycling program? What are your recovery rates?” He believes specifying such questions in RFPs can drive the industry to the next level. Tadas Radavicius of SoliTek added that there’s an opportunity for using circular economy principles for secondhand panels: “We see a growing market for secondhand panels just usually comes from utility-scale systems … you can look at the degradation rate, and you can identify for your potential client for how long these panels go, or how much the energy will be generated.” However, he explained that this is only feasible if there is clear communication about the history of the panels from one company to the next. In addition, Radavicius noted that pressure on the policy level from the European Commission to incorporate the solar industry into the circular economy. Because of the competitive market in Europe, solar companies are frequently battling for bids and need to set apart from others. Participating in the circular economy and presenting sustainable practices often gives these companies an edge. Radavicius also explained that increasing circular economy practices could enable Europe to function more independently in the industry. As Radavicus described: “If you could manage circularity in the rate that you can recover these materials, Europe can create its own local supply chain and can increase its supply of these materials, which usually comes from outside. The event highlighted key opportunities for the solar industry’s much-needed entrance into the circular economy. As Butler said, “There is a need to create the right infrastructure in order to realize that value creation, and to provide opportunities for materials to be recovered and re-utilized in some way, shape or form.” Pull Quote The International Energy Agency predicts that total renewable based power capacity will grow by 50% between now and 2024, and 60% of that will be solar. Other opportunities also include companies standing as the middleman for selling excess modules from installers. Topics Energy & Climate Circular Economy VERGE 20 Solar Recycling Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Employees work on panels that the Energy Department is using to leverage a Power Purchase Agreement with Sun Edison and Xcel Energy. Photo by Science in HD on Unsplash. Close Authorship

Original post:
From design to recycling, opportunities abound to make solar more circular

Here’s what embedding circularity looks like at Cisco

September 24, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Here’s what embedding circularity looks like at Cisco

Here’s what embedding circularity looks like at Cisco When Cisco started embedding circular economy practices into its work several years ago, it worked on building proof of concepts first. For other companies looking to embark on a similar journey, Scott Scheeler, vice president of engineering at the company, advises that they start small and build from there. “Don’t start where we are now. We started several years ago and we started small,” Scheeler said. One of the projects Cisco is currently working on is extending the life cycle of some of its products by making them modular, enabling customers to replace parts of a product after a couple years instead of buying a brand new one. “We’ve always kind of designed our products to have a long life cycle,” Scheeler said. “But what’s different now is we’re thinking about it as it may end up going to more than one customer. … Now we’re talking about products that may last in the field for five, 10, even 15 years.” Deonna Anderson, associate editor at GreenBiz Group, interviewed Scott Scheeler, vice president of engineering at Cisco, during Circularity 20, which took place August 25-27, 2020. View archived videos from the conference here . Deonna Anderson Thu, 09/24/2020 – 16:44 Featured Off

Continued here:
Here’s what embedding circularity looks like at Cisco

Tech company Rubicon is on a mission to end waste

September 24, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Tech company Rubicon is on a mission to end waste

Tech company Rubicon is on a mission to end waste Technology company Rubicon’s business mission is to end waste, in all of its forms. For David Rachelson, chief sustainability officer at Rubicon, and his team, working toward that mission looks, in part, like supporting its customers in the commercial sector — from small and medium-sized businesses to Fortune 500s — as they craft waste reduction and circular economy objectives of their own. As the circular economy changes and expands, Rubicon is working to partner businesses who are doing innovative work in the space with its customers.  “We’re always trying to look forward while also helping customers with their daily needs that do not go away while we’re looking to innovate,” Rachelson said. The U.S. waste market offers a lot of challenges but Rubicon sees many of them as opportunities, according to Rachelson.  Deonna Anderson, associate editor at GreenBiz Group, interviewed David Rachelson, chief sustainability officer at Rubicon, during Circularity 20, which took place August 25-27, 2020. View archived videos from the conference here . Deonna Anderson Thu, 09/24/2020 – 15:00 Featured Off

Read the rest here:
Tech company Rubicon is on a mission to end waste

How young California ranchers are finding new ways to raise livestock and improve the land

February 26, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on How young California ranchers are finding new ways to raise livestock and improve the land

Because these first-generation farmers are starting from scratch, many of them do not view their practices as adapting. They see the techniques they use as central elements of a new kind of ranching.

Read more:
How young California ranchers are finding new ways to raise livestock and improve the land

5 hot technologies for cold trucking

February 26, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on 5 hot technologies for cold trucking

Refrigerated trucks use a quarter more fuel (usually diesel) than non-refrigerated trucks do. These solutions could help reduce that impact.

See the original post here:
5 hot technologies for cold trucking

Lessons Starbucks learned in building a sustainable supply chain

March 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Lessons Starbucks learned in building a sustainable supply chain

Eight years since the launch of its Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices commitment, Starbucks is ready to share some of the lessons its learned along the way to greener supply chains.

Read the original here:
Lessons Starbucks learned in building a sustainable supply chain

Best Practices for Fracking Companies to Clean Up Their Act

December 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Best Practices for Fracking Companies to Clean Up Their Act

Richard Liroff of the Investor Environmental Health Network discusses a collaborative effort with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility to minimize risks associated with fracking through key performance indicators and best practices.

View original post here:
Best Practices for Fracking Companies to Clean Up Their Act

Seventh Generation, NatureWorks First to Earn USDA Biobased Label

April 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Seventh Generation, NatureWorks First to Earn USDA Biobased Label

 The USDA named the first 60 products that can carry a new label showing their bio-based content.

Read more:
Seventh Generation, NatureWorks First to Earn USDA Biobased Label

Global Banking Industry Stands to Benefit from Green IT Practices

April 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Global Banking Industry Stands to Benefit from Green IT Practices

A new report from Fujitsu surveys four countries’ maturity of green IT practices — from responsible procurement to applying IT to larger sustainability goals — and finds the U.K. leading the pack, though all countries show room for improvement

Go here to read the rest:
Global Banking Industry Stands to Benefit from Green IT Practices

Wells Fargo’s 5 Best Practices for Engaging Your Green Teams

January 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Wells Fargo’s 5 Best Practices for Engaging Your Green Teams

The banking giant has undertaken a number of projects to get all 278,000 of its employees on board with the company’s sustainability goals. Here are five tips any company can benefit from.

View original here:
Wells Fargo’s 5 Best Practices for Engaging Your Green Teams

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 2752 access attempts in the last 7 days.