Sembcorp Industries and Singapore Polytechnic will collaborate on commercializing Singapore’s first technology for recycling used solar panels, it said in a filing to SGX on Wednesday.
“This innovative process, developed locally by SP researchers, recovers resources from used solar panels, such as glass, silicon, and metals including silver and aluminium,” the filing said. “The partners will work together to translate these solutions from laboratory to market, and accelerate plans to develop a pilot recycling plant for solar panels.”
The two cited data from the International Renewable Energy Agency estimating that there will be 60 million tonnes of cumulative photovoltaic panel waste by 2050.
Koh Chiap Khiong, head of Sembcorp’s energy business in Singapore, said the program was aimed at being a responsible developer and operator.
“In scaling up our solar portfolio, we take a cradle-to-grave approach: not just caring about procurement, design and installation and operation, but even seeing our projects through to the end of their operational lives,” Koh said in the statement.
In addition, Sembcorp and Singapore Polytechnic are working on training and education to build up the workforce skills needed to support solar energy’s growth in Singapore, the statement said.
“The two parties will jointly develop course curriculum at the polytechnic, internships, as well as continuing education programs for managers, engineers and technicians working on solar projects,” the statement said. “Sembcorp’s knowledge of real-world industry demands and photovoltaic modular designs, installation and operation, will complement SP’s existing course material on solar energy systems and deployment.”
Sembcorp intends to make the training a requirement for all contractors working on its solar power projects in Singapore, it said.
Within Singapore, Sembcorp has more than 120 megawatt peak of solar capacity in operation and under development, across more than 1,500 sites, it said.