Key Messages

There has in the last few years been a concerted push from policymakers and thought leaders in India to transition to a circular economy to, among other things, enable effective waste management. However, waste management in the solar photovoltaic sector still lacks clear directives.

At the same time, there have been interesting policy announcements and initiatives vis-a-vis photovoltaic waste management, especially since last year. For example, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change’s revised electronic waste (e-waste) management Rules in 2022 brought solar photovoltaic cells, panels, and modules under its ambit. Similarly, the Green Credit Programme under the Environmental Protection Act, announced in the 2022-2023 Union Budget, aimed to promote green growth and sustainable practices. While these measures are noteworthy, have we thought through the effective handling of photovoltaic waste in India?

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Explained | India’s solar push augurs a looming waste management challenge