GVR Report cover Solar Panel Recycling Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Solar Panel Recycling Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Process (Laser, Mechanical), By Product (Monocrystalline, Thin Film), By Shelf Life (Early Loss, Normal Loss), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027

  • Report ID: GVR-1-68038-617-2
  • Number of Report Pages: 135
  • Format: PDF, Horizon Databook
  • Historical Range: 2016 - 2018
  • Forecast Period: 2020 - 2027 
  • Industry: Energy & Power

Report Overview

The global solar panel recycling market size was valued at USD 127.7 million in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.8% from 2020 to 2027 on account of the rising preference for renewable sources of energy tracked by promising environmental standards. Continuous technical advancement with cost efficiency will prompt the adoption of solar panels, which, in turn, will enhance the market outlook. Moreover, growing awareness among customers about the benefits of sustainable sources of energy and subsidies provided by the provincial governments will balance the market scenario. The degradation of the environment coupled with the global energy crisis caused by the conventional energy sources that include nuclear energy and fossil fuels is expected to drive the demand for renewable sources of energy over the projection period.

The U.S. solar panel recycling market size

Transitioning trend towards renewable energy resources owing to its least effect on the environment is likely to enhance the market growth. Furthermore, the declining prices of solar panels are expected to increase the number of installations of solar photovoltaic modules, thereby supporting market growth. The U.S. market is anticipated to witness significant growth over the forecast period due to extensive R&D along with the increasing number of installations of photovoltaic modules. The waste generated at the end of life of the photovoltaic modules is subject to recycle to reuse the ingredients, such as glass and silicon. The demand for solar panels is growing as they are eco-friendly and cost-effective.

In China, the COVID-19 epidemic has paralyzed the demand for power generation, which delayed the growth of the country’s solar panel recycling market. Besides, the country is observing a trend of the addition of low capacities as the manufacturing and construction work is being stopped. Hence, various market players are now considering substitute sourcing to stay in the industry.

Process Insights

The mechanical process accounted for the largest revenue share of more than 59% in 2019 and is likely to expand further at a significant growth rate from 2020 to 2027. However, the laser process segment is estimated to register the fastest CAGR, both in terms of revenue and volume, over the forecast period. The thermal process has a limited acceptance scope but is projected to gain broader adoption during the estimated period owing to a decrease in silicon content in solar panels.

Shelf life Insights

The early loss segment accounted for over USD 102.3 million in 2019. Various government standards and regulations to encourage solar panel recycling and renewable energy projects to preserve ecological balance are expected to foster market growth throughout the forecast years. Major companies in the market are continuously determined towards technical advancements to surge the service quality and efficiency.

The degradation or early weathering of solar panels due to maintenance issues, lack of product standardization, and unfavorable weather conditions is the primary factor contributing to the larger share of the segment in the market. In terms of volume, the normal loss segment is anticipated to witness a significant in the coming years. Since solar panels’ normal shelf life is considered approximately 30 years, they will need to be condensed inactive owing to issues related to maintenance.

Product Insights

The monocrystalline solar panel recycling product type accounted for the largest revenue share of over 50% in 2019. Although monocrystalline panels are costly, they are extensively used on account of high heat tolerance, longer shelf life, and high efficiency. These panels are manufactured with sole crystalline silicon.

Global solar panel recycling market share

Thin film solar panels are projected to appear as the fastest-growing product segment over the projection period owed to active performance and low cost of these panels. Extensive R&D has led to the development of lightweight, low-cost thin film solar modules with properties, such as flexibility and temperature resistance. These kinds of products allow mass manufacture due to their cost efficacy.

Regional Insights

Europe accounted for the largest revenue share in 2019. It is estimated to expand further at a significant growth rate from 2020 to 2027 as the region has the maximum number of installed bases of solar farms that would lead to huge numbers of end-of-life solar panels in the upcoming years. The presence of large quantities of end-of-life solar panels is estimated to result in an increase in solar panel waste. Thus, the demand for solar panel recycling is anticipated to rise over the coming years.

In Germany, the market is set to exceed over USD 70.0 million by 2027 owing to technological advancements as well as exhaustive government regulations for waste management. The growing use of solar panels for power generation as an alternative of other non-eco-friendly sources is projected to spur the product demand over the next seven years.

The Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing regional market from 2020 to 2027. China and Japan are the major revenue generators in the APAC regional market. At present, China accounts for the maximum number of patent filings in solar panel recycling owing to growing investments in research and development of recycling technology.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The service providers focus on technological advancements and innovation in the solar panel recycling mechanisms. Such inventions coupled with viable pricing are expected to aid in boosting the market share over the coming years. Many companies are investing in R&D to strengthen their market position. For instance, in 2018, First Solar started to provide a recycling solution for photovoltaic modules and power farms that maximize the overall financial returns and the maximum amount by return on capital. Some of the prominent players in the solar panel recycling market include:

  • First Solar Inc.

  • Echo Environmental, LLC


  • Canadian Solar

  • Silrec Corporation.

  • SunPower Corporation

  • Reiling GmbH & Co. KG

  • Trina Solar

  • Aurubis

  • Envaris

  • SiC Processing GmbH

  • Yingli Energy Co. Ltd.

  • Hanwha Group

Solar Panel Recycling Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2020

USD 160.8 million

Market volume in 2020

950.0 kilotons

Revenue forecast in 2027

USD 333.8 million

Volume forecast in 2027

3193.5 kilotons

Growth Rate

CAGR of 12.8% from 2020 to 2027 (Revenue-based)

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2018

Forecast period

2020 - 2027

Quantitative units

Volume in kilotons, revenue in USD million, and CAGR from 2020 to 2027

Report coverage

Volume forecast, revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Process, product, shelf life, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa

Country scope

The U.S.; Canada; Mexico; The U.K.; Germany; France; China; India; Japan; UAE; Qatar; Brazil

Key companies profiled

First Solar, Inc.; Echo Environmental, LLC; Silcontel Ltd.; Canadian Solar; Silrec Corp.; SunPower Corp.; Reiling GmbH & Co. KG; Trina Solar; Aurubis; Envaris; SiC Processing GmbH; Yingli Energy Co. Ltd.; Hanwha Group

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2020 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global solar panel recycling market report on the basis of process, product, shelf life, and region:

  • Process Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Thermal

    • Mechanical

    • Laser

  • Product Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Monocrystalline

    • Polycrystalline

    • Thin Film

  • Shelf Life Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Normal Loss

    • Early Loss

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • North America

      • The U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • The U.K.

      • France

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

    • Central and South America

      • Brazil

      • Argentina

    • The Middle East and Africa

      • UAE

      • Qatar

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