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Estimation of photovoltaic waste spatio-temporal distribution by 2060 in the context of carbon neutrality

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/12/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Environmental Science and Pollution Research
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date15/12/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In recent decades, large-scale deployment of photovoltaic (PV) power leads to management challenges for recycling PV module waste in China. With the growth of waste PV volumes, it is necessary to figure out the spatio-temporal distribution of PV waste at the provincial level. Based on China’s carbon neutrality goal by 2060, six development pathways of PV installed capacity are proposed to identify in-use stocks of PV capacity. In particular, we develop the retired flow estimation model for PV modules that is constructed by three PV module degradation scenarios. The results show that a relatively large scale of PV waste will be started to emerge in China by 2030 and the cumulative waste is expected to reach 1100∼ 1450 GW by 2060. Our findings also indicate an unequal distribution of PV waste across regions and the highest PV waste volumes by 2060 is the East China region at 31.4%, with Shandong (8.99%) and Hebei(8.65%) ranking as the top provinces. This prospective research will help the PV industry plan the location and capacity of recovery facilities at an appropriate time to advance toward a more resource efficient and circular economy.