Assessment of the value recovery from solar PV modules.
Enyamu, Augustine David
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The solar PV energy industry globally is steadily growing because it is cost-effective, efficient and is seen as a green solution to the global energy demand since it is devoid of carbon emissions. In that regard, Uganda is reported to be the third largest market for solar PV products indicating significant manufacture and installation of solar PV modules. However, what is often overlooked are the PV module waste volumes accumulated by the end of-life stage. Consideration is being made to recycle valuable PV module materials such as silicon, silver, copper, aluminum etc. and at the same time mitigate carbon emissions to the environment from landfilling this waste. As such, this project research will seek to assess the extent to which the value of PV module waste in Uganda can be recovered in both an economical and environmentally sustainable manner. This assessment is threefold. First is the determination of the waste management schemes for PV module waste by all stakeholders involved in the supply chain. Next is identifying the appropriate methods/processes of recycling this waste that are applicable in the context of Uganda. Thirdly, the research paper analyzes of the costs and benefits and profitability of these recycling processes practiced in the country. A case study of a PV waste recycling facility is made and its economic efficiency computed using three financial indicators i.e. Net Present Value, Benefit Cost Ratio and the Debt Payback Time. The findings of this research give a detailed insight into the financial performance of a proposed PV module waste recycling facility citing both its economic and environmental benefits and the factors that affect economic efficiency. Conclusions regarding increasing its feasibility are made and recommendations made to lay the foundation for a shift to a circular economy in the country. .