Waste from Electric and Electronic Equipments (WEEEs) is currently considered to be one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world, with an estimated growth rate going from 3% up to 5% per year. The recycling of Electric or electronic waste (E-waste) products could allow the diminishing use of virgin resources in manufacturing and, consequently, it could contribute in reducing the environmental pollution. Given that EU is trying, since the last two decades, to develop a circular economy based on the exploitation of resources recovered by wastes, a comprehensive framework supporting the decision-making process of multi-WEEE recycling centres will be analysed in thispaper. An economic assessment will define the potential revenues coming from the recovery of fourteen14 e-products (e.g. LCD notebooks, LED notebooks, CRT TVs, LCD TVs, LED TVs, CRT monitors, LCD monitors, LED monitors, cell phones, smart phones, PV panels, HDDs, SSDs and tablets) on the base of current and future disposed volumes in Europe. Moreover, a sensitivity analysis will be used to test the impact of some critical variables (e.g. price of recovered materials, input materials composition, degree of purity obtained by the recycling process, volumes generated, and percentage of collected waste) on specific economic indexes. A discussion of the economic assessment results shows the main challenges in the recycling sector and streamlines some concrete solutions.
Recently, European countries agreed on a new 2030-pact establishing challenging levels for a set of climate and energy indexes in order to achieve a more competitive, safe and sustainable energy system. In order to evaluate current sustainability performances of European countries from the environmental and energetic perspectives, this research proposes a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) that, starting from both Eurostat data and the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), allows a direct comparison of nations. To this aim, multiple indexes are taken into account (e.g. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Government expenditures for environmental protection, Recycled and reused waste from electric and electronic equipments (WEEEs), Recycled and reused waste from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs), Recycled materials from Municipal Solid Wastes (MSWs), Share of renewable energy (RE) in electricity, Share of RE in transport, Share of RE in heating and cooling and Primary energy consumption). This assessment model provides a sustainability value for each European country and the related ranking with the European average. Results show as, even nowadays, twelve out of twentyeight European countries have a value greater than the European average in 2013. Top four nations (Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Austria) have high indexes of sustainability and Sweden is the best country from both the environmental and energetic perspectives.
New installed annual solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity was equal to 76.1 GW in 2016 (+49%), reaching the total of 305 GW around the world. PV sources are able to achieve a greater energy independence, to tackle the climate change and to promote economic opportunities. This work proposes an economic analysis based on well-known indicators: Net Present Value (NPV), Discounted Payback Time (DPBT) and Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE). Several case studies are evaluated for residential households. They are based on three critical variables: plant size (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 kW), levels of insolation (1350, 1450 and 1550 kWh/(m 2 ×y)) and share of self-consumption (30%, 40% and 50%). The profitability is verified in all case studies examined in this work. The role of self-consumption, that is the harmonization between demanded and produced energy, is strategic in a mature market to improve financial performance. A sensitivity analysis, based on both electricity purchase and sales prices (critical variables), confirms these positive results. The Reduction in the Emissions of Carbon Dioxide (ER cd ) signifies an environmental improvement when a PV system is used as an alternative to a mix of fossil fuels. Finally, a policy proposal is examined based on a fiscal deduction of 50% fixing the period of deduction equal to 5 years.
Cumulative photovoltaic (PV) power installed in 2016 was equal to 305 GW. Five countries (China, Japan, Germany, the USA, and Italy) shared about 70% of the global power. End-of-life (EoL) management of waste PV modules requires alternative strategies than landfill, and recycling is a valid option. Technological solutions are already available in the market and environmental benefits are highlighted by the literature, while economic advantages are not well defined. The aim of this paper is investigating the financial feasibility of crystalline silicon (Si) PV module-recycling processes. Two well-known indicators are proposed for a reference 2000 tons plant: net present value (NPV) and discounted payback period (DPBT). NPV/size is equal to −0.84 €/kg in a baseline scenario. Furthermore, a sensitivity analysis is conducted, in order to improve the solidity of the obtained results. NPV/size varies from −1.19 €/kg to −0.50 €/kg. The absence of valuable materials plays a key role, and process costs are the main critical variables.
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