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SOREN is a non-profit, state accredited take-back scheme founded in 2014 by the French photovoltaic industry in order to manage its waste management obligations under the directive 2012/19/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

SOREN is now the single leading PV take-back scheme, both in volume collected with almost 15 000 tons collected between January 2015 and August 2020. SOREN was also instrumental in ensuring the creation of the first dedicated industrial recycling unit for crystalline-based PV modules in Europe. The Veolia recycling unit based in Rousset, France with a capacity of 4 000 tons per year is a strong example of our commitment to creating a high-value recycling model for used photovoltaic modules.

During the project, SOREN will provide real-world photovoltaic waste to the partners, in order to ensure that the new solutions developed work properly with the diversity we find in our waste streams, such as modules with missing frames, broken glass, hotspots, etc. We will also provide our expertise in characterization for PV waste to improve and propose a harmonized methodology for evaluating PV waste hazardousness as well as providing a level-playing field to benchmark actual valorization and recycling rate between countries. Last but not least, as a PRO, we are one of the actual potential customers for the Photorama process. Therefore, we will help define the business model, in order to incentivize the creation of raw material value and cost-efficient treatment.

Nicolas Defrenne, managing director of SOREN since its founding, and Anaïs Gouabault, technical and operations manager since January 2019 will be the most involved in the project on behalf of SOREN. Other team members from our operations departments will be required to participate where their expertise is required.

Role(s) / Task(s) in project

SOREN France will provide the required PV waste for the demonstration as well as share its business and technical expertise for the creation of new PV recycling unit and benchmarking.