THE HINDU India stares a pile of solar e-waste


  • By 2050, India will likely stare at a pile of a new category of electronic waste, namely solar e-waste, as per a study made public on 11 April 2019.
  • Currently, India’s e-waste rules have no laws mandating solar cell manufacturers to recycle or dispose waste from this sector.
  • India’s PV waste volume is estimated to grow to 200,000 tonnes by 2030 and around 1.8 million tonnes by 2050.


  • Solar cell modules are composed of glass, aluminium and potentially hazardous materials such as lead compounds, polymers and cadmium compounds. These when disposed of in an inappropriate way can have negative environmental and health impacts.
  • Despite the environmental concerns, India which is among the leading markets for solar cells in the world, do not have a requisite policy guideline to ensure recycling of module waste. The E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016 do not cover solar e-waste.
  • The European Union (EU) has Eco-Design Directive 2009 in place. It is a policy instrument to reduce environmental impact of energy-related products throughout their life cycle.
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