The upcoming series of five articles by Emilie Verbeure will examine which legal problems can arise within the product-service system specifically applied in the photovoltaic sector. The combination of this business model in the photovoltaic sector is referred to as Solar as a Service (SaaS). In this business model, the service provider remains the owner of the PV installation that is installed on the roof of the user. The user pays for the function of the system, i.e. the generated solar energy.
Current PV and battery systems are still conceived from a linear perspective, neglecting a possible second use for other applications and creating waste. In order to increase or maintain the value of existing and new power solutions, the solutions provided by CIRCUSOL need to be conceived, installed and operated with a circular model in mind.
This review study introduces the relevant research groundwork, a status overview and today's R&D and business challenges in PV recycling, repair/refurbishment and re‐certification aspects for second‐life PV modules.
Battery recycling company Snam and industrial engineering specialist Sirea, which develops self-consumption and energy management solutions, formalized their partnership at the Energaïa trade fair which took place in Montpellier.
The Bern University of Applied Sciences, with the support of its institute on Industrial Engineering and Management, will develop a mathematical model to identify the dynamics created by the material/information flows in the different stages of the PV and LIBs life cycle, including manufacturing, inventory, transportation, installation, business models for 1st and 2nd life use, collection, and recycling. Computer simulation can assist decision-makers in assessing the PV/battery ecosystem from a business/customer perspective, as well as from a broader economic perspective.
Maria Franco, a Circular Economy Specialist, presents activities of a research and innovation action project funded by the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Commission, CIRCUSOL, which fosters the development of business models for a circular solar photovoltaic industry in Europe.