Can solar panels be recycled? A major clean energy issue explained

Solar panels last 30 to 40 years. What happens after?
Loukia Papadopoulos

YouTuber Matt Ferrell explores some of today's most pressing issues in science and technology and particularly in clean energy. You may remember this clip where he discussed whether solar panels are worth it after four years and this video where he explains the breakthrough that lets electric vehicles charge in minutes.

In his latest video, he tackles the question of what happens to solar panels at the end of their lifecycle. You may not think of this when purchasing eco-friendly devices, but solar panels are not recyclable.

This means that when their usage runs out they create a significant amount of waste. This begs the question, then: how environmentally conscious of an investment are they really?

The good news is that they can be recycled, it's just a complicated process. Since their lifespan lasts only 30 to 40 years, it might very well be a process worth considering.

So what is this process for recycling solar panels? Why is it so complicated? Are we making new developments that may simplify it? Why don’t manufacturers focus on building easy-to-recycle panels? What is the future of solar panel technology? This video answers all these questions and more.

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