The global solar panel recycling market size was worth USD 127.7 million in 2019. It is also estimated to register a 12.8% CAGR from 2020 to 2027. Increasing preference for the usage of renewable energy sources to cater to power requirements of industrial, commercial, and residential purposes is expected to drive the growth of the market.
Rapid technological advances are being undertaken by the key players for the development of cost-effective and energy saver methods to extract solar energy from the panels. Further, increasing awareness about environmental degradation caused due to usage of conventional energy like fossil fuels and nuclear energy has contributed majorly towards the rising demand for solar panels.
Thus, the shifting trend towards the adoption of renewable energy due to less environmental impact is estimated to trigger market growth. Moreover, the reduction in the solar panel prices coupled with increasing solar photovoltaic module installations is projected to further fuel up the market demand. The market across the U.S. is estimated to register substantial growth in the upcoming years on account of huge investments to conduct R&D activities. Moreover, the generated waste like silicon and glass from photovoltaic modules at the end of shelf-life can be recycled and reused. Thus, the demand for cost-effective and eco-friendly solar panels is increasing at a rapid pace.
The segment of mechanical process held the dominant share of around 59.0% across the global solar panel recycling market in 2019. It is also expected to register substantial growth in the upcoming years. This growth can be attributed to its features like low environmental impact and higher efficiency.
The segment of the laser process is expected to witness the highest CAGR in terms of volume and revenue from 2020 to 2027. On the other hand, the process segment of thermal accounted for a limited share across the market but is anticipated to gain wide popularity in the upcoming years due to reduced silicon content among the solar panels.
The segment of early loss accounted for the dominant share across the global market in 2019. This can be associated with the rising number of regulations and standards imposed by governing bodies for the streamlined replacement of solar panels in renewable energy projects. Further, the need for preserving ecological balance is projected to bolster the growth of this segment.
The segment of normal loss is projected to witness the highest CAGR across the global market from 2020 to 2027. As the shelf life of solar panels is 30 years, their replacement after the stipulated period becomes necessary. This factor is expected to contribute majorly towards the growth of this segment in the upcoming years.
The segment of monocrystalline panels held the largest share of around 50.0% across the global market in 2019. Salient features such as higher shelf life, more heat tolerance, and enhanced efficiency have contributed majorly towards the market growth of this segment. Such panels are produced with single crystalline silicon and thus are costlier as compared to the other types.
The thin-film segment is expected to account for the fastest CAGR over the forecasted years, 2020 to 2027. This can be attributed to the enhanced operational performance and reduced costs associated with these panels. Also, rapid technological advances undertaken by the key players for developing thin-film panels having properties like temperature resistance and flexibility are projected to boost the market growth.
Europe held the dominant share across the global solar panel recycling market in 2019. It is also projected to witness significant growth over the forecasted period, 2020 to 2027. This can be attributed to the presence of many solar farms in the last few years that will result in replacement demand for solar panels.
The Asia Pacific is estimated to register the fastest growth across the global market over the forecasted years, 2020 to 2027. Rising installations of solar panels across Japan and China are projected to contribute majorly towards the market growth. Further, more patent filing in the field of recycling solar panels across China due to more investments in developing recycling technology is expected to further fuel up the market demand across this region.
The market has been negatively impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reduced demand for power generation owing to the lockdown imposition and travel restrictions has adversely affected the growth of the market. Also, shutting down many manufacturing industries and stagnancy over construction work has reduced the solar panel replacement demand. However, rapid technological advances and initiatives undertaken by governing bodies for promoting the usage of renewable energy sources are expected to boost market growth in the upcoming years.
The key players operating in the market are First Solar Inc., SILCONTEL LTD, Silrec Corporation, Canadian Solar, SunPower Corporation, Aurubis, Trina Solar, Envaris, Hanwha Group, and Reiling GmbH & Co. KG. These service providers are constantly engaged in innovation and product development for gaining a cutting edge over other players.
They have started investing hugely to carry out many R&D activities for strengthening their position across the global market. For example, First Solar had started providing recycling solutions for power farms, and photovoltaic modules which can maximize the financial returns from the installation of solar panels.
The market size value in 2020
USD 160.8 million
Market volume in 2020
The revenue forecast in 2027
USD 333.8 million
Volume forecast in 2027
CAGR of 12.8% from 2020 to 2027 (Revenue-based)
The base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historic data
2016 - 2018
2020 - 2027
Volume in kilotons, revenue in USD million, and CAGR from 2020 to 2027
Volume forecast, revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Process, product, shelf life, region
North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa
The U.S.; Canada; Mexico; The U.K.; Germany; France; China; India; Japan; UAE; Qatar; Brazil
Key companies profiled
First Solar, Inc.; Echo Environmental, LLC; Silcontel Ltd.; Canadian Solar; Silrec Corp.; SunPower Corp.; Reiling GmbH & Co. KG; Trina Solar; Aurubis; Envaris; SiC Processing GmbH; Yingli Energy Co. Ltd.; Hanwha Group
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This report forecasts revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends from 2016 to 2027 in each of the sub-segments. For the purpose of this study, Million Insights has segmented the global solar panel recycling market on the basis of process, product, shelf life, and region:
• Process Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
• Product Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
• Thin Film
• Shelf Life Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
• Normal Loss
• Early Loss
• Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
• North America
• The U.S.
• The U.K.
• The Asia Pacific
• Central & South America
• The Middle East & Africa
Research Support Specialist, USA
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