Recycling, future energy challenge?

Considering the combination of the concept of recycling with the world of energy immediately leads to the mountain that stands in front of us: the dismantling of the first nuclear power plants.

At the risk of being provocative, I do not think this is the main issue of recycling that occurs in the world of energy. Indeed, the associated risks are such that the work involved is identified, organized and supported by defined actors, super-supervised by demanding and vigilant nuclear safety authorities.

A more important issue of recycling is to be expected for the coming years: the development of photovoltaic systems and soon of energy storage batteries for individuals leads to a critical situation. Rare materials (lithium) or pollutants (solvents) are thus “distributed” to individuals through these energy equipments.

What will it be recycling this equipment after 15 to 25 years of use?

The first, and perhaps the main aspect is the collection. How to motivate consumers to recycle batteries through the right channels? I’m surprised you can even still buy separate batteries without having to give back the used equivalent.

The second aspect of recycling is the performance of the proposed treatment to separate the different components of the equipment. The optimization of this performance depends on the recycler.

Unlike the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, certainly emblematic but easily monitored, recycling new energy equipment has to rely on a dispersed organization: control of the process may be much more complex. It seems to me essential to make it a priority today.

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