Solibrium – Innovation to Tackle E-Waste

News & Blog

The appetite for a green economy is on the rise and Countries/Organizations are putting in place measures that will help reduce environmental risks and ecological scarcities. Transitioning to renewable energy solutions is necessary considering benefits accrued in reducing carbon emissions, therefore, high environmental benefits in addition to an element of providing reliable power supply at affordable rates in the long run.

The use of solar power is on the rise globally, nonetheless, most countries have not been keen on how to set up structures that will ensure safe management of waste. Both the environment and the population are at risk of exposure to hazardous substances. Solar panels contain minerals such as copper, nickel, zinc, cobalt, and lithium.  Countries in the world lack laws on solar waste recycling to tackle the sharp surge of solar panels.

We observe the need for enhanced capacity in drafting of laws/regulations to ensure that decommissioned/end of life panels are recycled, continents face risks of drowning in hazardous waste.

Solarium is a certified B-Corp based in Western Kenya that aims to bring affordable solar power to Kenyan communities.  Solibrium works not only as a distributor of solar home systems and an installer of customized solar systems for homes and institutions, but also aims to offer a holistic and complete sales distribution, service, and repair ecosystem to rural solar users. Solarium intends to implement a lease model of ownership to their Solar Panel customers. Lease model gives ownership of a product to the producer ‘a customer only purchases the service needed from the product.

Solving the solar panel waste issue requires that the government together with all stakeholders put in place laws and regulations that will hold companies liable for recycling solar panel waste to avoid environmental harm. The lease model is a service compensation model where a customer pay for service access from a product, but the product manufacturer is responsible for take back. This ensures that the user/consumer will only return for refurbishing dismantle and reuse parts of the end of life product with the manufacturer and not in the environment.

Article by Pracksidis Wandera
January 2020