PV Cycle has issued a statement that solar panels do not comply with the European Union’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive. It calls for the implementation of extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation for all renewable energy products and equipment in the European Union.
PV Cycle argues that solar panels should be excluded from the European Union’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive because they are different from other electrical and electronic equipment. The organization recommends the implementation of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) law for all renewable energy products and equipment in the European Union.
According to PV Cycle, solar panels generate electricity instead of consuming it like other electrical and electronic products. They have a long life and require financing for future costs, making them investment products. PV Cycle highlights the impact of energy policy, geopolitical decisions and support mechanisms on the solar panel market and their uneven distribution in different Member States.
PV Cycle asks the European Commission to exclude solar panels from the scope of the WEEE Directive and to carry out an impact assessment of the EPR legislation for renewable energy products. EPR is a strategy for including the environmental costs of a product’s entire life cycle in the market price. PV Cycle emphasizes that EPR frames should be tailored to power-generating investment products, as they differ from short-lived consumer electronics products such as televisions and washing machines.
If the solar panels remain within the scope of the WEEE directive, the statement presents 10 recommendations for adapting the directive. One recommendation calls for abandoning collection rates or targets for PV panels because they are designed for long-term use and can be added or renewed.
PV Cycle proposes to replace the collection rates with “Key Performance Indicators” which takes into account the extended life of solar panels and highlights the negative effects of the 65% collection target in different Member States.