Towards a Circular Solar Power Sector in Europe – Pathways, Policies & Strategies

Solar power is set to play a leading role in the achievement of the 2030 EU renewable targets and the commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050. Importantly, solar photovoltaics, in combination with energy storage, also has the potential to significantly enhance European energy security, provide citizens and industry with competitive energy, and lead to the creation of thousands of jobs in manufacturing, installation, maintenance, and end-of-life management.

While the expected rapid growth of the solar power sector over the coming decade will bring along various resource and waste management challenges, following a circular economy strategy can ensure that these will be handled in a proactive and future-proof manner. Furthermore, a circular economy approach will offer the European solar industry new business opportunities in the design and manufacturing of circular-ready products, as well as in the reuse, refurbishment and recycling of older solar panels.

Workshop aims & target audience

The Circusol online workshop on 29 September 2022 seeks to bring together policy makers, industry representatives, experts and other stakeholders to discuss pathways forward towards a circular and resource-efficient solar power sector in Europe. Specifically, the event aims to provide a platform for open exchange on a number of themes and questions, including the following:

  • up-to-date experience with different circular strategies for solar photovoltaic panels, specifically recycling, repair, and reuse
  • ongoing standardisation initiatives in relation to the preparation for reuse of solar photovoltaic modules
  • options and guidelines for a potential future policy framework that could catalyse the transition towards a circular solar power sector in Europe.

In addition, the workshop will also share and discuss the CIRCUSOL experience with discarded lithium-ion batteries that initially served in electrical vehicles (EV) and that, after being refurbished, can gain a valuable second life as solar power storage devices in stationary applications.


09:00 – 09:05 Welcome and introduction

09:05 – 09:30 Presentation of the Policy recommendations

09:30 – 10:25 Panel discussion: Policy framework and guidelines for a circular solar (photovoltaic) power sector - Moderated by Jan Clyncke (PV CYCLE)

10:25 – 10:35 Break

10:35 – 11:30: Panel Discussion: Policy framework and guidelines for circular stationary batteries - Moderated by Grietus Mulder (VITO)

11:30 – 12:00 Key conclusions