Orix Eco Services Corp (Minato-ku, Tokyo) announced March 10, 2020, that it has started a new service to process used solar panels disposed of from solar power plants across Japan.
By using knowhow and networks that Orix Corp built up through proper disposal of leased properties, Orix Eco Services cooperated with companies that engage in the collection/transportation, intermediate processing and final processing of waste across Japan and established a proper disposal system that crushes solar panels and disposes of them through landfilling.
In addition to used solar panels, the new service can appropriately dispose of solar panels that have been unexpectedly broken or damaged by natural disasters. Orix Eco Services deals with not only solar panels of about 1GW of solar power plants owned by the Orix group (including plants under construction) but also solar panels disposed of from solar power plants being operated by other companies.
Orix Eco Services will partner with the Glass Recycling Committee of Japan (GRCJ, industry group), its member companies, etc and move forward with research and development concerning the recycling of solar panels. There have not been any efficient recycling technologies established for solar panels, and solar panels are mainly crushed and buried.
The use of solar power generation systems has been rapidly spreading since the introduction of the feed-in tariff (FIT) policy in 2012. It is concerned that a vast number of solar panels will be disposed of in the 2030s and the supply-demand balance of proper disposal will become tight.