Developing a value chain for photovoltaic waste in Uganda.
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In comparison to other energy producing technologies, photovoltaics(PV) is one of the most promising because it doesn’t produce emissions of matter into the environment during operation, has a long life span and is easy to maintain. As such the use of photovoltaics is rapidly increasing in Uganda with a steady growth in the respective market. This growth in solar photovoltaic usage rains positives for the transition to a low-carbon energy scenario but draws new challenges as well; principally related to the economic and environmental sustainability of the entire PV supply chain, especially the end of life management of modules. This project research will look to assess the current and future status of PV waste in Uganda; quantifying and classifying it for the development of sustainable disposal pathways. The report presents the findings of details involved in the development of a value chain for Photovoltaic waste as well as an assessment of the current forms of PV technology distribution, waste management trends and a quantification of cumulative PV waste amounts in Uganda. This comprised a combination of Life cycle assessment to determine the waste amounts; a commodity chain analysis, desk study work and extensive semi-structured interviews with stakeholders of the technology in order to establish sustainable disposal pathways of the waste photovoltaic. These stakeholders included end users of the technology, distributors and authorities. End of Life management schemes presented include material/component recovery chains, that can be instrumental in displacing virgin materials used during the production of new modules, an important step towards solving the challenge of sustainability.