The official launch of Breakthrough Victoria’s $10 million Solar Waste Challenge took place in the first week of October 2022. This challenge was being held in an effort to identify innovative ways of recycling solar waste in terms of the recovery of resources.
Breakthrough Victoria An autonomous corporation is in charge of managing a $2 billion investment fund that was established by the Victorian Government with the goals of:
The support that the organisation offers does not consist of free money. Breakthrough Victoria is an equity investor, it receives a portion of the profits from each initiative that it financially supports.
Solar power is a technology that is contributing to the solution of critical problems, but it also comes with a few challenges of its own, such as the question of what to do with PV equipment that has reached the end of its useful life. Sunburn’s Solar panel system’s in Melbourne are of a high quality and have a service life that spans decades, but not all panels that have been installed to this point are of a high quality. Even if they remain in place, at some point they will have to be removed; in addition, panels that still have many years of power production life left in them may be discarded as part of upgrades to the solar power system.
It is possible that 187,000 tonnes of garbage will be generated by photovoltaic, or PV, panels by the year 2035. This estimate is based on a stated “average” service life of 15 years for each panel1, as well as a solar uptake in the state pushed by Victoria’s solar panel rebate.
The Breakthrough Victoria Solar Waste Challenge is looking for innovative, commercial, and scalable solutions that can manufacture high-value products from solar panel system that have reached the end of their useful lives.
According to the organisation, “Breakthrough Victoria intends to engage in solar panel recycling to immediately build a circular economy within Victoria for solar panels,” all while diverting trash from landfills, creating jobs, and promoting economic growth within the state.
Although solar panels cannot be disposed of in landfills in Victoria due to the e-waste ban that has been in effect in the state since July 2019, it would be a very positive development if this initiative could find even better ways of dealing with panels that have reached the end of their useful lives.
New technology for sorting recyclables and reusing waste, advances in collecting and logistics, and methods that make the most of material harvesting are examples of the kinds of innovations that could be considered for financial backing. Existing firms in Victoria, as well as enterprises located in other states or countries that are planning to grow into Victoria, are eligible to apply for investment from the Solar Waste Challenge.
Only a few short years ago in Australia, recycling and reuse of unwanted solar panels did not receive much attention. However, this is gradually changing, and numerous facilities are already in operation. The decision made by the Victorian Government is another example of how Australia is truly starting to get its act together with regard to this issue.
The Breakthrough Victoria Challenge aims to develop the capability of local innovators, find new intellectual property, catalyse new technologies, and recruit talent from around the world to address emergent issues. We think that by concentrating our attention on certain technological issues, we may stimulate and inspire the larger scientific and innovation community to come up with answers to these issues.
The first-ever Breakthrough Victoria Challenge will draw attention to the need to cut down on the amount of solar waste that ends up in landfills.
The work that was accomplished throughout the course of this year’s Challenge is aimed at drastically reducing emissions and addressing this developing source of harmful trash. Up to ten million dollars will be invested by Breakthrough Victoria in forward-thinking solutions and technology that have a significant capacity for expansion.
Sunburn Solar has the best quality Solar panel system in Melbourne, which are not just durable but also affordable. We also entertain Victoria solar panel system rebate offers for whosoever qualifies. Contact us to get energy efficient today.
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