Trina Solar announces WEEE Directive compliance

Trina Solar Limited (“Trina Solar” or “the Company”), a global leader in photovoltaic modules, solutions, and services, announced that its product range is fully compliant with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, as compliance becomes mandatory for the PV industry across the EU-27.

The WEEE Directive (2002/96) regulates the appropriate treatment of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment, with PV modules coming under the scope of the directive for the first time in 2012 (2012/19/EU). As of 1 February 2014, PV manufacturers, distributors, and installers may only supply modules bearing the WEEE “wheelie bin” logo, indicating that producers are fully compliant with national waste management and disposal obligations, including the necessary financing and administration.

Trina Solar works with PV CYCLE, a not-for-profit association that provides collection and recycling services to PV module manufacturers, vendors, installers, and importers throughout the European Union. As a PV CYCLE member since 2010, Trina Solar has developed best-practice processes for the management of discarded and end-of-life modules.

However, Ben Hill, Head of Europe at Trina Solar, believes that few in the PV industry are fully aware of the implications of WEEE compliance becoming compulsory: “With most PV modules offering an average lifespan of at least 25 years, the question of what to do with them when they reach the end of their useful life is one that many in the industry have been slow to address. Manufacturers and suppliers that have fallen behind the curve in terms of their waste management processes will not be ready for the new compliance requirements. At Trina Solar however, we have been laying the foundations of our response for a number of years,” he said.

Trina Solar recently hosted a webinar to explain the requirements and implications of the WEEE Directive to its partners and customers. Jan Clyncke, Managing Director of PV CYCLE, explained the impact of the directive on the European PV industry, including a timeline of implementation for distributors and project managers. To view the presentations from the webinar, click here [LINK].

Trina Solar's UK Sales Manager and board member of the Solar Trade Association (STA), Richard Rushin, will be at the STA stand at Ecobuild exhibition (stand S2240) to answer questions on WEEE and other issues facing the UK solar industry. Trina Solar’s triple black Honey M product for residential rooftops will also be presented at the exhibition.

"We remain very confident of the pivotal role that solar PV has to play in the European renewable energy mix, and we would expect that role to grow as it becomes clear that it can be as environmentally friendly an option at end-of-life as it is up to that point,” Hill said. “We are pleased that, with the help of PV CYCLE, we have been able to get ahead of the game and prepare ourselves properly for the introduction of mandatory WEEE compliance,” he concluded.

Source: Trina Solar/