SPLTRAK Abstract Submission
Investigation of the Circular Economy Approach in Asian Solar PV Manufacturing 
Viktor Dancza2& Kai Cheng1
1Brunel University London, London, United Kingdom
/2Blueleaf Energy Asia, Singapore, Singapore

While supporting our fight against climate change, the surge in PV module production over the past 3 decades put a huge strain on finite natural resources and will result in vast amounts of waste in this decade, due to first generation PV modules reaching their 25-to-30-year useful life. Recycling and end-of-life treatment have received attention among researchers, but the transition of manufacturing methods to a circular economy model is a relatively new area in the solar PV industry, due to the longevity of the panels. To identify the key barriers and enablers of this transition, this research took the questions directly to the stakeholders, in the form of open access and targeted surveys. Social media was used to distribute the public survey and Asian PV manufacturers were contacted via email. Analysing the results using descriptive methods, the public and manufacturing industry opinions showed strong correlation with the findings of the literature review. The two sets of answers also aligned in many cases, most likely due to the social media survey predominantly answered by PV professionals and thus may have already included manufacturing opinions. The survey results validated the findings of many publications from the past, shining light on the social, economic, political, and environmental challenges the PV industry is still yet to overcome. At the same time, the PV waste problem was once more identified as a potential foundation for new industries and untapped opportunities promising billions of dollars in revenue.