Get the most updated and recent current affair content on

Solar Waste

  • Vaid's ICS, Lucknow
  • 22, Jan 2022
Image Not Found

Why in News?

National Solar Energy Federation of India predicted India could generate over 34,600 tonnes of cumulative solar waste in India by 2030.

With India’s ambitious solar target of 280 GW by 2030, it is time to formulate a sound solar waste management policy

What is Solar Waste?

  1. The electronic waste generated by discarded solar panels is sold as scrap in the country.
  2. It can increase by at least four-five-fold by the next decade.

Where does India lie?

  1. India does not have a solar waste management policy, but it does have ambitious solar power installation targets.
  2. The issue was not addressed in the last electronic waste management regulations in 2016.
  3. India will be faced with solar waste problems by the end of this decade, and solar waste will end up being the most prevalent form of waste in landfills soon.

How are other countries handling solar waste?

  1. The EU is clearly ahead of other regions in terms of framing and implementing waste management policies for PV waste.
  2. The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive of the EU imposes responsibility for the disposal of waste on the manufacturers or distributors who introduce or install such equipment for the first time.
  3. PV manufacturers are solely responsible for the collection, handling and treatment of modules at the end of their lifecycle, according to the WEEE Directive.
  4. Washington and California have come up with extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulations.
  5. Washington now requires PV module manufacturers to finance the take-back and reuse or recycling of PV modules sold within or into the state at no cost to the end-user.
  6. Countries such as Japan and South Korea have already indicated their resolve to come up with dedicated legislation to address the PV waste problem.
  7. India needs a three-pronged approach to handle the mammoth quantum of PV waste it will generate in the next 10 years.

What lies ahead?

  1. Strong e-waste or renewable energy waste laws:
  2. EPR for the manufacturer and developers to take responsibility for end-of-life the solar panel.
  3. PV modules were the first to be included in the EU’s WEEE regulations. 
  4. It includes options for financing waste management.
  5. Infrastructure:
  6. To bring down the cost of recycling infrastructure investment is required
  7. Coordination between the energy and waste sector to efficiently handle the renewable energy waste is needed
  8. We need to build more recycling plants to avoid solar panels ending up in landfills.
  9. We should make Environmental disposal and recycling of solar waste a part of the power purchase agreement SECI / DISCOMS / government signs with project developers.
  10. Ban on Landfills: Solar panel waste is harmful to the environment as it contains toxic metals and minerals that may seep into the ground.
  11. New business models, incentives or issues of green certificates to be provided to encourage the recycling industry to participate more.
  12. Research and Development:
  13. Innovation in design may have an impact on the type of waste they generate
  14. Technology advancements will be significant in reducing the impact of renewable energy waste. c. New panels, for example, use less silicon and produce less waste during the manufacturing process

Facts for Prelims :

Xenotransplantation :

David Bennett, a 57-year-old from Baltimore, Maryland, the U.S. became the first person to receive a heart transplant from a genetically-modified pig.

  1. It is any procedure that involves the transplantation, implantation or infusion into a human recipient of either (a) live cells, tissues, or organs from a nonhuman animal source, or (b) human body fluids, cells, tissues or organs that have had ex vivo contact with live nonhuman animal cells, tissues or organs.
  2. Pig immune system is different from humans for the simple reason that the porcine organs are anatomically similar to those of humans.
  3. The donor pig underwent 10 genetic modifications, by which the genes responsible for the rapid rejection of foreign organs by the human body were inactivated or knocked out.
  4. Gal Safe pigs, or pigs that had undergone editing to knock out a gene that codes for Alpha-gal (a sugar molecule) were used.
  5. Alpha-gal can elicit a devastating immune response in humans.
  6. These pigs have 10 of their genes genetically modified to reduce the possibility of rejection.