What happens to old solar panels?

Old solar panels

A solar energy system is a fantastic investment for your home or business; it helps future-proof your home against energy price increases, reduces your current energy costs up to 70% and protects your property from any potential energy backouts during the summer.


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But, solar PV panels do have a lifespan and after 2+ decades you might find that you need to retire your panels to keep your energy system performing at its best and supplying your property with the highest levels of energy possible. (Energy Makeovers’ solar energy systems have a lifetime warranty of 25 years).

If not properly organised solar panels can simply end up in landfill and as demand for solar panels increases over time across the world, but specifically in Australia, landfills will see more solar PV waste, which negates some of the benefits of switching to this eco-friendly energy supply in the first place.

Reclaim PV in Australia can recycle 90% of the materials in solar panels (such as Aluminium, silicon, lead, silver etc.). They’re currently the only solar PV recycler in Australia, but we can expect that to change as solar is a developing market.


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“In a country where rooftop solar installations are amongst the highest in the world (on a per capita basis), with approximately 40 million solar panels installed (11GW) so far and forecast to increase to 18 GW by 2020, it is essential to have a strategy to recover, over time, these installed modules as they are decommissioned.” (source Reclaim PV)

If potential waste from solar PV is weighing on your mind before you invest in a solar energy system, it’s worth noting that there is an option for recycling 90% of your panels and as the market grows we can expect to see more. So, in 25 years, if your panels need an upgrade, I predict there will be plenty of options on the market for recycling your system components so they don’t go into landfill.


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