Skip to content

PHOTORAMA at EUSEW once again!

PHOTORAMA was present again at Europe’s biggest conference dedicated to renewables and efficient energy use, the European Sustainable Energy Week 2023 (EUSEW). Already in 2022, PHOTORAMA had a stand at the EUSEW Energy Fair.

But what is EUSEW exactly?

EUSEW gathers actors across the board interested and active in renewable energy and energy efficiency every year. The 2023 edition took place online and in Brussels on 20-22 June.  The theme was “Accelerating the clean energy transition – towards lower bills and greater skills”. Across three days, many activities took place: a Policy conference with a range of policy sessions, Awards Ceremony, the Energy Fair, and the fourth European Youth Energy Day, etc. Hence, there were many opportunities for PHOTORAMA to get involved!

So, how did we participate?

PHOTORAMA organised two events during the week: 1) an energy day session 2) a policy session.

PHOTORAMA’s Energy Day

Energy days are events taking place in the framework of EUSEW everywhere in the world to promote sustainability along the energy value chain.

PHOTORAMA organised its Energy Day on the 21st of June in Brussels to discuss the framework conditions to create a circular PV industry. We welcomed 24 participants eager to share and learn about PV circularity.

We kick-started the day with a few quiz questions about PV waste and recycling and we were met by a well-informed audience!

For example, do you know how many types of PV panels are in use today? 105000!

We also asked our participants why we need high-value recycling of PV and we can say that we agree!

After the quiz, it was time to give the floor to the energy day’s speakers who each approached different aspects important for PV recycling.

  • Claire Agraffeil (CEA, France, PHOTORAMA coordinator) first introduced PHOTORAMA’s objectives and process. She also discussed the importance of the legal framework to foster PV recycling.
  • Maria Nyberg (European Commission, DG Grow) then presented the proposal for a regulation from the Commission the “European Critical Raw Materials (CRM) Act that would establish a framework for ensuring a secure and sustainable supply of critical raw materials.
  • Susana Xara (European Commission, HaDEA, PHOTORAMA’s project officer) presented Horizon Europe calls on Recycling technologies for critical raw materials from End of Life (EoL) products.
  • Wim Merket (Maltha Glass recycling/Renewi, Belgium, plant manager); introduced the audience on the technicalities of glass recycling from PV panels.

After a short break, we had 3 more presentations.

  • Michalis Christou (European Commission, Joint Research Centre) discussed the structure of the PV supply chain and the material demand related to PV based on a JRC foresight report
  • Pascal Leroy (WEEE forum, Belgium, Director General) presented the WEEE forum perspective on overhauling the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and its relevance for the PV industry
  • Tom Rommens (VITO, Belgium, Senior Researcher & CIRCUSOL coordinator) presented the CIRCUSOL project and the case for circular business models for the PV sector- PV reuse in EU market segments

Beyond these state of the art presentations on aspects of PV circularity, it was the occasion to showcase some of the samples of delaminated PV panels obtained through PHOTORAMA’s processing. Furthermore, the Energy Day provided a good networking platform for interested actors. The Energy Day was kindly hosted by the Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU.

Policy session: Solar Energy – A strategy towards a sustainable and circular PV industry

On June 22, we organized a policy session that explored the EU legislative landscape relevant to developing a solid solar PV strategy aligning with a circular approach.

Achieving a circular economy for PV requires a concerted effort from multiple actors across many different angles, however EU policy plays a particularly crucial role in orchestrating ecodesign and PV recycling efforts across member states. From a policy perspective, the EC has already made strides towards fostering PV circularity through initiatives such as the WEEE Directive and Ecodesign regulations, however many experts believe that more could be done. In this session, we explored the EU legislative landscape relevant for establishing a circular economy for PV panels in order to better understand where the strengths and limitations of EU policy lie and to highlight areas of action.

PHOTORAMA member Tess Landon (ZSI), moderated the discussion among 6 guest speakers, who are experts in different aspects related to PV circularity. You can re-watch the session here

The panel discussion was supported by slides, to which each speaker contributed. They are available here.

The session was followed by 298 participants (41 onsite, 257 online).

We would like to refer you also to our upcoming events:

1) 19 September 2023, Lisbon. “Recycling is Getting Ready for PV – Latest News from PHOTORAMA and EPRI”, a parallel event from 10:30-12:00h at EUPVSEC 2023:

2) 7 December 2023, Brussels. PHOTORAMA is co-hosting two sessions in the frame of Sustainable Solar Europe 2023:

– “The Role of Innovation in Shaping a Sustainable Solar Industry”, 10-11h, a joint session by five EU-funded projects: RESiLEX, TRUSTPV, PHOTORAMA, CIRCUSOL, and ICARUS

– “Creating a Sustainable and Circular Solar Industry”, 11:30-12:30h, a panel discussion by PHOTORAMA and industry and policy stakeholders