Queensland Government launches solar panel recycling pilot at Planet Ark Power

Queensland Government launches solar panel recycling pilot at Planet Ark Power

By Pamela Jolly  March 23rd, 2023

In Australia’s state with the highest solar power installations, Queensland has announced plans to reduce the electronic waste (e-waste) generated per capita.


Launched at Planet Ark Power by Queensland Minister for Energy Mick de Brenni in March, the new draft Queensland E-Products Action plan 2023-2033 has been designed to encourage more e-product reuse and repair. Under the plan Queensland would aim to collect 80 per cent of all e-waste generated and 90 per cent of material would be recovered for reuse.

By weight, 50 per cent of e-products currently entering Queensland per annum are solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage equipment. In 2019, solar panel waste accounted for 1,000 tonnes, by 2030 the mix of e-waste generated in Queensland each year is expected to change with solar PV and battery storage waste growing faster than other sources to over 17,000 tonnes.

“With the highest rooftop solar penetration in the country, we need to explore how we deal with panels when they reach the end of their life. We know that like other forms of e-waste, there is enormous potential for parts to be recycled and in some instances repaired instead of ending up in landfill, ” said de Brenni.

As part of the draft plan solar panels could also be banned from being dumped in landfills within 10 years. The Victorian Government has already introduced a landfill ban for solar panels.

The Queensland Government will initially invest more than $250,000 for a pilot of an industry-led Solar Stewardship Scheme, led by the Smart Energy Council (SEC) to identify participants and locations to divert end-of-life solar panels for recovery.

“The trial will examine the best ways to address any economic and logistical obstacles preventing the effective collection and disposal of unwanted household solar panels, with an initial focus on regional areas,” said Wayne Smith, Acting Chief Executive Smart Energy Council Acting Chief Executive.

Large-scale solar PV installer for industrial and commercial buildings, Planet Ark Power welcomed the initiative. “Following hailstorms in Brisbane a couple of years ago we had to send damaged solar panels to Sydney for recycling at a cost of $3000 per pallet,” said Peter Newland CEO Planet Ark Power.

“To develop a local recycling industry in a state that has installed more solar panels than any other in Australia is a very welcome addition to the Queensland's clean technology sector and to the development of a circular economy,” said Newland.


Pamela Jolly

Pamela is a Marketing Communications professional with over 10 years experience working for both agencies and organisations in communications, travel, finance and retail industries. Pamela loves to be in nature riding a bike, skiing, appreciating the trees at her local park or exploring wild places abroad with her family.

Related Stories

Stay up to date

Whether you're looking for positive inspiration at home, at work or in the community you’ll find something in our suite of e-newsletters.