Gener8 is focused on developing fully circular solar panels. In addition to tackling the technical challenge, we have also developed a business model that contributes to a fully circular system for solar panels.
Solar panels are usually made in such a way that makes the reuse of materials or components next to impossible, so a lot of materials are lost. Next to this, the amount of solar energy generated has grown exponentially in recent years. Of course, this makes us very happy, but it also casts a shadow: in a few years, we’ll be disassembling and processing huge quantities of solar panels, resulting in a mountain of waste with no destination.
Our approach is a new form of intensive collaboration, a new ‘system’ – not a new technical solution, but a collaboration between partners in the value chain. We think we have found a way to organize the interests of all the parties involved so that the costs, but more importantly the benefits, can be evenly distributed. With this vision, in 2016-2017, we connected multiple partners: ECN, the port of Rotterdam, WEELEC, Exasun and Urban Mining Corp were prepared to find out if we could create this system together.
Unfortunately, following the rejection of a subsidy, it was decided to discontinue this Venture in 2018. The decisions was made in part because the time we invested was no longer in proportion to the results we expected. We think it is important to share the knowledge we gained through Gener8, so we published two blog posts: Blog #1: Gener8 – the first truly sustainable solar panels; Blog #2: Circular solar panels: the possibilities and challenges.