Can solar panels be recycled? © Getty Images

Can solar panels be recycled?

In order to reduce waste, and remain environmentally friendly, solar panels need to be able to be repurposed when they wear out.

Asked by: Amy Rhys-Davies, Cambridge


Panels that convert solar energy into electricity last for decades, but when they do eventually wear out, they can be turned into new products – including fresh solar panels. Most of the materials they’re made from, such as glass, aluminium and copper, has been recycled for years. The semiconductor materials in them, such as silicon and cadmium telluride, can virtually all be recovered by specialist companies.


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