Solar Waste in India: A Looming Challenge


  • A study by CEEW and MNRE projects India’s solar waste to reach 600 kilotonnes by 2030.

Key Findings:

  • Waste generation:
    • Current (FY23): 100 kilotonnes (kt).
    • 2030: 340 kt (3.4 times increase).
    • 2050: 19,000 kt (190 times increase).
  • State contribution:
    • 67% of waste from 5 states: Rajasthan (24%), Gujarat (16%), Karnataka (12%), Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh.

India’s Solar Capacity:

  • 4th globally in renewable energy capacity additions.
  • 5th globally in solar power capacity.
  • Increased from 3.74 GW (2014-15) to 74.31 GW (2023-24).
  • Projected to reach 292 GW by 2030.

Solar Waste:

  • Waste from manufacturing (scrap, failed modules) and project lifetime (transportation damage, operational damage, end-of-life modules).
  • This study focuses on project lifetime waste.


  • Maintain a comprehensive database of installed solar capacity.
  • MoEFCC to issue guidelines for collection, storage, and processing of solar waste.
  • Solar manufacturers to develop waste collection and storage centers.
  • Incentivize recyclers and promote effective waste management.

Solar Waste Recycling Methods:

  • Conventional recycling: Recovers glass, aluminum, copper (not silver or silicon).
  • High value recycling: Recovers silver and silicon through chemical processes.

India’s Solar Waste Management Policy:

  • E-waste Management Rules 2022 mandate producers to store solar waste until 2034-35.
  • Producers need to file annual returns on e-waste management.
  • Recyclers must follow CPCB guidelines for material recovery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *