The state of colorado solar panel recycling in 2021

Thanks to its geographic location, Colorado is blessed with 300 days of bountiful sunlight every year. According to estimates, 86% of the rooftops in Colorado, i.e. 1 million rooftops are viable for installation of PV panels. If each installed panel receives 75% of maximum annual sunlight, the potential for electricity generation through solar energy stands at 24.7 Million MWh per year. 

Utilizing this enormous potential of energy generation through solar energy can result in the reduction of 15M metric tons of Carbon dioxide emissions. So far Colorado produces 1791.9 MW of electricity through solar power which amounts to a 4.18% contribution to the state’s energy mix. Much of Colorado’s potential for solar power generation remains untapped. However, a combination of favorable laws and a conducive business environment can enable Colorado to become the top solar-producing state in the USA. 

Some notable examples are:

  • Implementation of commercial solar incentives such as Federal PV Tax Credit and Fort Collins PV Rebate. As a result, the overall cost of solar energy has fallen by 36% over the last 5 years. 
  • Introduction of favorable net metering policy in the state. Customers receive credit for every kWh of electricity generated at the same rate they are charged by the state’s electric service provider. 
  • Colorado was the first state that established a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) for its electric utilities. According to this RPS, all state-sponsored electricity supply companies are obliged to use renewable energy to produce a small percentage of their electricity. 

In Colorado, solar power is implemented and utilized in multiple forms such as rooftop solar, community solar gardens, and large solar farms. Colorado has a thriving business community for solar energy that comprises solar installers, developers, and manufacturers. Notable examples of solar power manufacturing companies are Abound Solar, Primestar Solar, and Ascent Solar. 

The following facts paint a clearer picture of the state of solar in Colorado:

  • Installed solar capacity 1,791.9 MW with 85,757 no. of total installations
  • National Ranking: 13th in 2020 
  • Solar Jobs: 6,771 in number
  • Solar Companies in State: 415 (38 Manufacturers, 208 Installers/Developers, 169 Others)
  • Total Solar Investment in State: $4.3 billion
  • Growth Projection and Ranking: 3,683 MW over the next 5 years (ranks 11th)

As per the findings of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado’s potential to produce solar energy using photovoltaic technology is 360 greater times greater than the energy requirement of the entire state. The same report states that in Colorado, the solar PV capacity increased at a rate of 44 percent between 2010 to 2013 and it continues to grow at an even faster pace. 

Such a fast proliferation of photovoltaic technology also raises the alarming question about the decommissioning and disposal of end-of-life solar panels. Most experts agree that recycling old solar panels is the most cost-effective and eco-friendly waste disposal option for solar waste. 

If you are looking for decommissioning or large-scale solar panel recycling solutions in Colorado, contact We Recycle Solar. We provide recycling solutions for solar panels, batteries, and other equipment. Our processes are safe, efficient, and compliant with all federal and state laws.

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Unless otherwise noted, all data from SEIA/GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight