In order to build joint ideas, Neoenergia,the Brazilian Institute of Development and Sustainability (IABS) and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) held an online debate focused on the potential of photovoltaic generation and energy demand in Brazil and worldwide. The event brought the projections of waste generated from photovoltaic systems in national territory and a deepening on the theme that is gaining more and more relevance.
The concern about the disposal of waste from the development of these projects is on the agenda around the world. Between 2017 and 2019, Brazil moved from 26th to 16th in the world ranking of photovoltaic power generation perspective. "We are seeing the growth in the use of photovoltaic panels in Brazil and this trend should continue. Therefore, we need to discuss from now on the final destination of these panels. The project also makes it timely to debate the fate of panels that become obsolete, since they can also be considered waste if no other destination is thought for them", comments Adriana Nascentes, specialist at Neoenergia.
This front of action in Sociocircular Energy has as a guideline the destinations and uses of waste renewable energy equipment, especially solar energy boards, how to reuse them and how to integrate society and generate additional socioeconomic benefits with this technology. "China, USA and Japan are the main countries in photovoltaic generation. Brazil has shown great growth and the structuring of a new market depends on infrastructure, investment and robustness of partners. We want to discuss and show that the operation of solar panels helps in reducing the emission of harmful gases throughout the energy production chain. For this, we need to structure good recycling and reuse processes that will certainly be a big factor to make solar energy increasingly sustainable", highlights Isabel Ferreira, Director of Management and Projects at IABS.
The debate also brought results of different researchrelated to the different agents involved in the concept of Sociocircular Energy – public, private, third sector, universities and research centers. In the public sphere, the concern of the construction of a complete scenario was verified, with laws and monitoring of supervision, construction of new policies and constant dialogue with the market. In the private sector, there is also the consent of the actors' situation and the need for a new regulatory framework involving photovoltaic plates at the industrial level. In the third sector, the main point observed was the need to focus on the community, on the issue of circularity. The proposition of public policies, projects that involve society in the various phases within the solar power plant operation, something that also involves technologies and new designs of more sustainable solar panels.
The online event also had as a point of debate conceptual models that created value with the end of the life cycle and obsolescence of photovoltaic panels. The increase in waste from these panels is an environmental challenge, but it also creates opportunities for new economic cycles through Circular Socioeconomy. As a focal point of this discussion, we discussed the creation of models that enable opportunities for reduction, reuse and recycling, in addition to generating socioeconomic benefits for communities, with expansion of the useful life and development of new businesses. "How can we understand that the business cycle goes beyond the final product? If we could use the concept of circular economy, we have a social program, we have a business. The focus is to bring together technology, innovation and reducing inequality, aiming at sustainability," said Luís Tadeu Assad, CEO of IABS.