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Reuse of SOLar PV Panels and EV Batteries for low cost decentralized energy solutions and effective Recycling of critical raw MATErials from their EoL products

Project description

Addressing Europe’s critical raw materials challenge

Europe faces a critical need for critical raw materials (CRMs) to drive its green energy transition, aiming for climate neutrality by 2050. Key components like PV panels and batteries heavily rely on CRMs. However, traditional recycling methods fall short in harnessing their full potential. In this context, the EU-funded SOLMATE project aims to establish a new industrial value chain for the sustainable reuse and recycling of PV solar panels and EV batteries. SOLMATE focuses on developing low-cost decentralised energy systems and environmentally friendly technologies to improve material recovery. Aligned with waste hierarchy principles, SOLMATE strives for prevention, reuse, recycling, recovery, and disposal, paving the way for a greener future.


Europe is on the need of Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) to secure its green energy transition and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. PV panels for clean energy generation, and batteries for energy storage are key components for the green energy transition but heavily depending on CRMs. However, as the PV and EV markets were developing fast in the last decade in Europe, significant amount of secondary EV batteries, and PV panels will be available for recycling. Traditional approaches that have been used so far for their recycling are focused on materials recovery, and less on the enormous potential for reuse in second life before recycling. Additionally, proposed recycling processes so far are still suffering from several issues related to purity and efficiency of the processes as well as high cost and environmental aspects.
The overarching aim of the SOLMATE project is to set up solid foundations of a new industrial value chain for the sustainable reuse and recycling of PV solar panels and EV batteries in interesting emerging markets and high added value applications. The main objectives of SOLMATE are on one hand i) to develop and demonstrate viable and guaranteed low-cost decentralised energy systems for different emerging markets and business cases based on the reuse of batteries from EoL EV and used PV solar panels (i.e. repowering from PV farms), and on the other hand, ii) to demonstrate low cost and environmentally friendly technologies for improving the purity and increasing the recovery of raw materials (especially critical raw materials) from EoL EV batteries and PV that cannot be reused.
SOLMATE is designed to be fully aligned with the “waste hierarchy” principles as indicated in the Waste Framework Directive (Prevention, Reuse, Recycling, Recovery, Disposal).


Net EU contribution
€ 1 702 181,25
2400 Mol

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Vlaams Gewest Prov. Antwerpen Arr. Turnhout
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 1 702 181,25

Participants (15)