ROSi: producing high-purity raw materials from PV waste and promoting a truly circular PV industry

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Yun Luo

Photovoltaic (PV) energy is one of the most important renewable energy sources which can be exploited on a small (KW) and large scale (MW-GW) to satisfy Europe's various needs. As an example, the launch of PlanSolaire by EDF aims to reach 30GW PV in France between 2020 and 2035, thus opening up new horizons for a brighter European future in terms of PV.

However, there is still a technical and industrial bottleneck to overcome in order to render large-scale PV production green and environmentally friendly: the loss of high-purity raw materials such as PV grade silicon from the wafer sawing process and precious metals such as silver from end-of-life modules, and the waste of a large amount of energy and CO2.

ROSi has developed a pioneering process demonstrating top quality recycled silicon and other metals for different industrial needs. It is also building an end-of-life recycling site in the French Alps.

Main results
  • By implementing this process at industrial scale, ROSi will boost raw materials' lifecycle and make renewable energy production more efficient by eliminating the industrial waste generated either during the production value chain or from end-of-life products.
  • As a result, the production cost of PV energy will decrease, with reduced CO2 emissions and energy consumption, leading to a much ‘greener’ European innovation ecosystem.
  • By using this PV recycling technology to expand PV production in Europe, Europe's role as an innovation-driven continent will be reinforced.
  • Job creation will be another plus.