The European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), DG GROW (Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) and DG RTD (Directorate-General for Research and Innovation), have entered into a contract with Viegand Maagøe on a study for the Development of a recyclability index for photovoltaic products.

Policy context

This study is developed in a comprehensive European policy context aiming to reduce the generation of waste, the consumption of resources and the associated environmental impacts of electric and electronic products, including PV modules and inverters:

  • The Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) No 2012/19/EU
  • The Circular Economy Action Plans (December 2015 and March 2020) (CEAP)
  • The Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC) (ED) and the new Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR)
  • The Energy Labelling Framework Regulation ((EU) 2017/1369) (EL)

Moreover, relevant standardization activities in this field have been carried out by standardization committee “CEN/CLC/TC 10 - Energy-related products - Material Efficiency Aspects for Ecodesign” with the publication of the EN 45555:2020 - General methods for assessing the recyclability and recoverability of energy related products.


Potential policy application for these recyclability indexes for PV modules and inverters could include a compulsory disclosure of the indexes for each PV module model / inverter model placed on the EU market, as an effect of Ecodesign and/or energy labelling measures. 



The study has the following two objectives:

  • The analysis and development of scoring systems (indexes) for the recyclability of PV modules and inverters (the systems for each of the two products can differ).
  • Calibration and validation of the scoring systems on real products. 


The proposed methodology aims to create a recyclability index for PV modules and inverters, reflecting a significant stride towards enhancing sustainability in the photovoltaic industry. 


We will encompass the identification of priority parts based on material relevance and recyclability, the determination of key parameters for recycling, the establishment of a scoring criteria, and the definition of recyclability score classes for photovoltaic modules and inverters, the calibration and validation of the method.


The JRC Reparability Scoring System method for Smartphone and Slate Tablets provides a relevant example for the preparation of product-specific indexes. 


Please register here for receiving updates and invitation for stakeholder meetings.



Tentative milestones relevant for the stakeholders are:

  • 12 February 2024 10:00-12:30: Online stakeholder meeting has been held. Slides can be downloaded here
  • Autumn 2024: First stakeholder consultation meeting – date to be agreed
  • Spring 2025: Second stakeholder consultation meeting – date to be agreed
  • June 2025: Publication of the final report and end of study