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Long live materials

Long live materials

From design to extending useful life, to coming full circle with a new beginning. The life cycle of materials that make up our assets is based on sustainability and a large dose of the circular economy

Our strategy

The circular economy is one of the growth accelerators in our sustainability strategy. In view of the energy transition currently under way, the use of renewable materials and their reuse and recycling help us to reduce our impact on the environment. On this front, we give value to our assets by extending the useful life of the materials and the management of components when they are no longer useful in their original context. Moreover, we are constantly searching for innovative materials with which to build our plants, including in collaboration with startups and other companies in the spirit of Open Innovability®.

Recycling photovoltaic panels

Current recycling technologies make it possible to give a second life to key materials like glass, aluminum and copper. But they are not yet capable of recovering more precious elements such as silicon, silver, indium and gallium. For this reason, we are investing in innovation projects and testing new technologies to recover these materials.

  • Average life of a PV panel 20

    Average life of a PV panel 20 Years

  • Recycling or reuse of 78kk

    Recycling or reuse of 78kk Tons of raw materials by 2050*

  • Installed capacity of PV +8.519

    Installed capacity of PV +8.519 GW by 2050**

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Photorama

We are one of the companies taking part in the European Union’s PHOTORAMA project to create a circular, profitable and sustainable value chain for a zero-emissions photovoltaic industry. The goal is to recover and recycle desirable materials and components from photovoltaic panels at the end of their useful life.

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3Sun

At our 3SUN factory we are experimenting with the possibility of introducing recycled materials into the production process, including completely revising the module design, in order to boost circularity. 

A “New Life” for wind turbines

In Italy and Spain we have implemented the Wind New Life project to develop a circular value chain for the end-of-life management of wind turbines. We have invested in the construction of two industrial-scale demonstration plants, created on two Futur-e sites, to collect decommissioned wind turbines in order to produce secondary materials for reuse, thereby creating components with significant added value (materials for construction, healthcare products and furniture, pipes and roadside cabinets).

Many wind plants are still relatively new or in the construction phase, so we are also managing repowering projects that extend their life spans and use spare parts that comply with sustainable disposal solutions.

  • Average life of a wind turbine 30

    Average life of a wind turbine 30 Years

  • Wind power material to recycle 43kk

    Wind power material to recycle 43kk Tons by 2050*

  • Installed capacity of wind power +538

    Installed capacity of wind power +538 GW between now and 2050**

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A “second life” for batteries

In the field of energy storage systems, we are pursuing projects aimed at both identifying innovative technological solutions that are alternatives to chemical storage, as well as innovative technical solutions that extend the useful life of batteries, such as the Second Life Battery Project in Melilla.  

The project, which is already under way in Melilla, Spain, employs used Nissan LEAF EV batteries that have been assembled into a large stationary energy storage plant integrated into the conventional power plant in Melilla.

Innovative materials

In the spirit of Open Innovability®, we collaborate with startups and established players in order to identify and promote the development of new materials that are recyclable, more sustainable and that perform even better. Here are some of our collaborations and research initiatives concerning the use of increasingly innovative and efficient materials.