Driving the Renewable Energy Circular Economy
"As we push full throttle on renewable energy infrastructure, we must pull our heads up to see the bigger picture on waste and address the entire energy economy as a whole. Short-sighted thinking causes us to move from crisis to crisis as we see fit, but true solutions are not dealt with as pieces of the pie; when intelligently handled, they are addressed systematically from the perspective of the entire system. The systems and practices we create now will either push us ahead or keep us putting out fires."
- Emilie Oxel O'Leary, CEO and Owner of Green Clean Solar
Clean energy capacity
Increasing renewable energy capacity is the current focus as the U.S. works toward 100% clean energy by 2035 and net-zero emissions by 2050. Undoubtedly, this is the right move to make, away from relying solely on outdated energy systems that disrupt our environment. However, we also must consider EOL now and not down the line. If we fail to plan now, it will leave us with many more messes to clean in the future.
We must consider the people most impacted by energy development and waste and face our NIMBY ways once and for all. Just because equipment may have an EOL of 15-30 years doesn't mean there's not already a waste issue building up, broken panels going to landfills, batteries cycling out sooner than expected, and packaging waste filling up dumpsters bound for the landfill. A solutions-first approach is what we need now.
Upstream supply chain solutions
Manufacturing is doubling down both domestically and internationally - we'll all have more equipment options to choose from. In the advancements of our solar equipment lies an opportunity to build more innovative upstream supply chains now rather than later. This is where we can cut down on waste before it enters the system. New solar manufacturer assembly lines can be audited ahead of launch to address our systems of wasteful packaging. Enlisting a Cradle-to-Cradle strategy can help producers recoup materials for new production and relieve the burden of waste on our landfills while also amping up the recycling economy in the U.S.
Why it matters
While 100% the right direction, the push to drive solar capacity has created a blind spot around the waste we generate. Waiting until the trash has piled up and calling a hauler has become commonplace at many job sites. The name of the game is to pile everything together and haul it off to the landfill, which has a significant negative impact on the environment. While we're working to solve air pollution and bring down carbon emissions, we must stop creating a need for more mining of virgin materials that contribute to carbon emissions and water contamination in nearby communities. The great thing about waste in renewable energy - it's easily fixable, unlike oil and gas, which cannot escape their negative impact. It's unnecessary to have waste hanging over the industry's reputation and providing, albeit weak, ammunition for dirty energy industries when systems are in place for recycling.
Why Green Clean Solar
Green Clean Solar is bringing awareness and leadership to solving the waste blind spot in the renewable energy space. The company has implemented a scalable turn-key solution to address these issues by providing full-scale waste management services and recycling 95-100% of materials (broken solar panels, batteries, scrap metal, packaging cardboard, freight wood pallets, and many more materials) through partnerships with local recyclers while also educating industry professionals to achieve a renewable energy circular economy.
Just as utility and commercial infrastructure scales to meet demands, so has Green Clean Solar, making it possible to address better waste practices for countless job sites across the country. Green Clean Solar has proven to be the most efficient method for EPCs and utility companies to participate in recycling efforts that eliminate the need for them to handle cleanups themselves. This comprehensive approach sets Green Clean Solar apart from other companies in the industry.
Green Clean Solar is a woman-owned business that prioritizes diversity in the workforce, providing a substantial economic opportunity. The company partners with local recyclers that are expanding their capacity and business through increased solar panel and battery recycling efforts.
What's the progress to date
With one year in business, Green Clean Solar has already made a significant impact in helping clients reduce waste by recycling solar panels, batteries, and other materials that may have otherwise gone to landfills. We've helped EPCs on utility-scale jobs clean up sites from Hawaii to New York and Florida to Minnesota. Green Clean Solar has recycled not only solar panels, batteries, and inverters but also tons of cardboard, steel, aluminum, wood pallets, and plastic. While each job has different waste materials, the team has targeted all waste for landfill diversion and looks for unique solutions while communicating with manufacturers on the improvements they can make to minimize waste.
Recycling all of these materials has reduced air pollution, as the process reduced virgin material production activities. Green Clean Solar's success over its first year in business is a clear indication of the company's potential for growth in the coming years. The company's innovative approach to waste management and recycling has already made a significant impact on the environment, and it will continue to do so in the future. As the Renewable Energy Industry continues to grow, it will be important for companies like Green Clean Solar to be at the forefront of sustainable and environmentally conscious practices.
What's the potential
Green Clean Solar will have a substantial impact on recycling in the Renewable Energy Industry. With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and the growth of Utility Solar Installation sites, the impact metrics are expected to grow exponentially. Green Clean Solar is expecting the creation of hundreds of jobs, including recycling coordinators, truck drivers, operations management, on-site crews, and office employees.
Green Clean Solar is committed to improving the workflow, efficiency, and sustainable practice of EPCs, who can now focus on superb solar installations rather than waste management efforts. The company's efforts will also relieve local landfills and save communities from the impacts of waste leaching into the water.
Collaboration is key
Adopting more circular economy practices starts at the leadership level. Without the support of decision-making c-suite, owners, and board members, unlocking the power of tailored solar waste management becomes gridlocked. Therefore collaboration and buy-in must be nurtured from a business development standpoint, as adopting these practices will help companies gain influence and market share. This is why Green Clean Solar supports companies on their path to adopting improved Solar Waste Management practices with planning, implementation, management, metrics reporting, and marketing. A full suite of solutions comes with the full-scope services provided.
Join Green Clean Solar in leading the Circular Economy for Renewable Energy
Green Clean Solar is a necessary solution to the problem of solar materials being sent to landfills. The company's comprehensive approach to material recovery sets it apart from other companies in the industry and provides a significant opportunity for the growth of the solar industry as a whole. Green Clean Solar's innovative approach to waste management and recycling is a testament to the company's commitment to sustainability and the environment. The impact of Green Clean Solar's efforts will benefit the environment and provide a substantial boost to the economy by creating jobs and indirect revenue growth.