Solar Panel Recycling Market is Segmented By Panel Type (Monocrystalline Silicon Solar Panels, Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Panels, Thin Film Solar Panels, and Others, Copper Indium Gallium Selenide), By Process (Thermal, Mechanical, Laser, Chemical, and Others), By Shelf Life (Early Loss, Normal Loss, Degradation Loss, and Others), By End User (Residential, Commercial & Industrial, and Utility), By Region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, and Africa).. The report offers the value (in USD million) for the above-mentioned segments.

Solar Panel Recycling Market Trends

  • Deployment of robots and automation: The solar recycling industry is increasingly adopting robots, automated machinery, and AI to improve processes. Robots can efficiently handle tasks such as panel transportation, dismantling, and sorting. Automated systems like shredders and grinders can process large panel volumes quickly. AI-enabled robotic arms can identify materials for precision separation. These technologies are enhancing recycling capabilities, output and safety. Leading market players like Saperatec (develops wet-mechanical recycling processes for thin-layer composite materials made of plastic, metal and glass) and Recycling Industries are already utilizing automated tools in their facilities. For instance in 30Jun 2023, Aigen, a Seattle-based agricultural technology startup, unveiled an autonomous, scalable robotics platform powered entirely by solar and wind energy, leveraging proprietary AI to provide farmers with real-time field insights, increased time savings, and reduced costs
  • Advances in chemical leaching and metallurgy: Innovations in chemical leaching, smelting, and metallurgy are enabling improved material recovery from recycled solar panels. Techniques like sensor-based sorting, flotation, magnetic separation and more can separate glass, plastics, and metals effectively. Pyrometallurgical processes can recover silicon and silver with high purity. Hydrometallurgical methods allow low energy aluminum and copper recovery. Such advances are ensuring higher yields and material quality, while lowering processing costs.
  • Innovative recycling business models: New recycling business models such as "take-back" and "recycling-as-a-service" programs are emerging. Under take-back services, recyclers directly collect panels from solar sites. This ensures efficient logistics. Recycling-as-a-service provides a one-stop solution from transportation to certified disposal and reporting. Leading market players like Reiling Glass, Reclaim PV Recycling, and Recycle Solar Technologies (provides recycling services for Solar PV Panels, solar PV inverters & other energy products to benefit the UK & Ireland) offer both models. Such strategies provide customer convenience while meeting compliance needs.
  • Strategic collaborations and M&A: The solar recycling industry is witnessing increasing strategic partnerships, joint ventures, and M&A activity. Businesses are collaborating to pool expertise and expand capabilities. For instance, panel manufacturer LONGi partners with PV Cycle for recycling solutions in Europe. Recyclers also are acquiring niche technology providers to augment technical strengths. The recent acquisition of AGR Solar Recycling by Reiling is an example. Such consolidations are helping companies to enhance their share in the growing recycling value chain.

Solar Panel Recycling Market Regional Insights

  • Asia Pacific is expected to be the largest market for solar panel recycling market during the forecast period, accounting for over 41% of the market share in 2023. The growth of the market in Asia Pacific is due to supportive government policies, declining PV installation costs, and rising PV waste in China, Japan, and India.
  • Europe market is expected to be the second-largest market for solar panel recycling market, accounting for over 32% of the market share in 2023. The growth of the market in Europe is due to stringent regulations, incentives for solar recycling and growing PV installations in Germany, France, and U.K.
  • The North America market is expected to be the fastest-growing market for solar panel recycling market, with a CAGR of over 12% during the forecast period. The growth of the market in North America is due to increasing solar panel installations, rising awareness of recycling practices, and advancements in recycling technologies in the U.S. and Canada.

Figure 1. Solar Panel Recycling Market Share (%), By Region, 2023