China Enhances Recycling Measures for Retired Wind and Solar Energy Equipment
On August 17th, 2023, guidelines released by China‘s National Development and Reform Commission and related departments indicate that China is ramping up efforts to promote the recycling use of retired wind and photovoltaic (solar) equipment. The policy emphasizes a refined equipment recovery system and outlines concrete goals and actions.
According to the newly issued guidelines, photovoltaic equipment manufacturers are encouraged to establish a solar recycling system through various models and actively provide recycling services. Concurrently, the government supports third-party professional recycling firms in undertaking the task of decommissioned wind and solar equipment recovery. Furthermore, the directive proposes the creation of a “one-stop” service model encompassing the entire lifecycle of new energy equipment, from dismantling to reuse.
The government also advocates for the establishment of long-term cooperation between manufacturing, power generation, operation, recycling, and utilization companies to ensure the efficient circular use of decommissioned equipment. Moreover, wind power units should be localized, nearby, and centrally disassembled after removal. Recycling companies specializing in renewable resources are also encouraged to standardize the recovery of scrap steel, non-ferrous metals, and the like.
With the widespread adoption and long-term use of new energy equipment, its retirement and recovery have emerged as fresh challenges for the sector. To this end, the Chinese government has set a clear timeline: by 2025, a primary responsibility mechanism for handling decommissioned equipment in centralized wind farms and solar power stations will be in place. By 2030, the circular utilization technology for wind and solar equipment will essentially mature, with the formation of industry clusters centered on the recycling use of retired wind and solar apparatuses.
Recycling remains a focal point of the policy. Companies are urged to undertake detailed dismantling of decommissioned wind and solar gear, especially critical components of wind power units and solar modules, to achieve a high level of recycling. Additionally, the policy explicitly backs the remanufacturing of wind and solar equipment and encourages industry organizations and leading enterprises to establish remanufacturing verification platforms.
Regarding the disposal of solid waste, the policy underscores harm-free treatments and mandates stringent oversight of environmental pollution risks associated with decommissioned equipment, ensuring all disposal activities meet national environmental protection standards.
These initiatives aim to foster the efficient, eco-friendly circular utilization of new energy equipment, minimize resource wastage, reduce environmental pollution, and further buttress China’s green and sustainable trajectory.