Rosi in France has received backing for its solar panel recycling technology from Itochu in Japan. The deal will see Itochu promoting and expanding the solar panel recycling business.
ROSI was founded in 2017 in Europe and has raised €10.5m in the last month from BPI France and
The company develops and possesses advanced technologies for recovering and recycling silver, copper and silicon—which are the particularly high-valued materials contained in solar cells—at high purity.
These techniques differ from the conventional method for recycling solar cells by physical crushing. ROSI was also commissioned to operate a public project for solar panel recycling held in France in 2021, and plans to commence operation of a commercial recycling plant also in France from the beginning of 2023.
Going forward, Itochu will set up a recycling chain with Rosi’s technology.
In recent years, there is widespread global concern that mass disposal of solar panels that have reached the end of their service lives will occur in the near future.
The number of photovoltaic power generation facilities installed has grown rapidly with the introduction of renewable energy feed-in tariff (FIT) schemes, introduced in Europe in the late 2000s and in Japan since 2012.
At the same time, the service life of solar panels is generally around 20 years, so Japan and Europe expect mass disposal of solar panels to increase at an accelerated pace from around 2030 by a factor of 10.
By 2036, the amount of solar panel waste is expected to increase rapidly to around 170,000-280,000 tons, accounting for around 1.7–2.7% of the total amount of industrial waste being sent to landfill.
Establishing an appropriate recycling chain for these waste solar panels represents a major challenge for the future.
Itochu has been engaged in the sale of solar panels both in Japan and overseas, driving the development of mega solar power plants. It is expanding the introduction of photovoltaic power generation equipment for both industrial and residential use in all areas, including both roof-mounted and ground-based solar panels—through its investments in VPP Japan and Clean Energy Connect.