R2 TAC receives proposal to add photovoltaic panels to R2 Standard

The organization says the process to include PV panels would take more than two years.

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SERI (Sustainable Electronics Recycling International) has announced that its R2 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has been presented with a formal change proposal to consider the addition of photovoltaic (PV) panels to the R2 (Responsible Recycling) Standard. The R2 TAC, which is the multistakeholder group that considers and writes revisions to the R2 Standard), considered adding PV panels in 2016 but decided to defer their inclusion in the standard.

However, in 2020, following the latest version of the R2 Standard (R2v3), SERI says it empaneled a workgroup of 24 volunteers consisting of stakeholders from the solar industry to re-evaluate including PV panels. The workgroup met over six months to assess the suitability of including PV panels in this version of the R2 Standard and has now formally presented such a proposal to the R2 TAC to consider.

“The PV industry is extremely progressive,” SERI Executive Director Corey Dehmey says. “With much foresight, they took the initiative to create a sustainable plan for when solar panels are removed from use. There are hundreds of R2 certified facilities in 33 countries around the world who currently do, or could relatively easily, include PV panels to their service offering. We see this as a great way to quickly build reuse and recycling infrastructure for the environmentally sound management of PV panels.”

If accepted, SERI would next add PV industry stakeholders as new members to the R2 TAC and work would begin to add on PV panel requirements to the R2 Standard. Within the core requirements of the R2 Standard, such revisions are anticipated to be relatively minor and only affect those facilities that accept PV panels and their specific handling processes, the organization says. SERI adds that it anticipates incorporating PV panels into the standard would entail two or more years of development, public review and comment and revision until possible adoption.

SERI, headquartered in Washington, is an ANSI accredited standards developer that develops the R2 Standard and oversees the R2 certification program.