Measures catalogue for end of life (EoL) management in solar energy access projects

To achieve the sustainable development goal Nr. 7 on “access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” by 2030, most low- and middle-income countries launched ambitious energy-access initiatives. In that context, many bi- and multinational donors support low- and middle-income countries to develop and roll-out solar off-grid projects. This concerted efforts undoubtedly advance the world’s aim to achieve SGD 7 and yield mutual socio-economic benefits in off-grid areas. But as a side effect, solar off-grid installations bring new waste management challenges to rural and remote communities: Once obsolete the components of solar home systems turn hazardous waste, which gives rise to the concern over pollution and safety issues from hazardous e-waste and batteries left behind or being mismanaged. This measures catalogue aims at supporting managers of solar energy access projects in planning, designing and conducting waste related activities. To do so, the document provides an overview of the end-of-life (EoL) environmental and safety challenges from solar off-grid equipment, it introduces the ethical and economic standard of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), it presents the major entry points for improved EoL management of solar system components as well as supporting measures.