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The Clean Energy Council says that it is frustrated by the Federal Government’s approach to dealing with solar panel waste.
As the peak body for the entire Australian solar industry, the Clean Energy Council has worked to develop a comprehensive, nationwide plan to address this issue over the past year.
However, the Federal Government has walked away from this partnership and our attempt to coordinate a national approach to solar panel waste. It recently rejected a proposal put forward by the Clean Energy Council to establish an industry-led and self-funded product stewardship program that aimed to optimise collection and increase resource recovery rates to meet consumer expectations and government targets by 2030.
“Industry is prepared to lead and coordinate this initiative, but it also requires coordination and leadership from government given the significant regulatory interactions between the three tiers of government on environment and waste policy,” said Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton. “We would welcome a joint approach from the Federal Government and we remain ready, willing and able to work in partnership with them on this significant issue.
“The Federal Government has indicated that it does not currently have resources or a clear plan to play any meaningful role in addressing this problem. As the Minister for the Environment herself admits, ‘solar panels have languished on the government’s priority list for six years now’.
“Meanwhile, the Victorian Government has displayed leadership by introducing a landfill ban on solar panels that ensures they are now redirected toward recycling facilities established by the industry.”
There is now a range of sophisticated Australian and global businesses with solid business plans to establish product recycling facilities across Australia, drawing on proven technologies and experience. The Australian solar industry remains committed to addressing this challenge.