SOLMATE: Transforming Energy Solutions through Sustainable Reuse and Recycling

ProjectBuildings & districtsSolar Energy

The SOLMATE project, an initiative funded by Horizon Europe Innovation Action, aims to open up new possibilities in the field of decentralized energy systems. The project officially commenced on January 1, 2024, and is set to unfold over 48 months, concluding on December 31, 2027.

In a Nutshell

SOLMATE, an acronym for “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,” addresses two main goals. Firstly, to develop and demonstrate viable low-cost decentralized energy systems leveraging batteries from End-of-Life (EoL) Electric Vehicles and used PV solar panels. Secondly, to showcase low-cost and environmentally friendly technologies for enhancing the purity and recovery of raw materials, with a special focus on Critical Raw Materials (CRMs).

Why SOLMATE Matters

As Europe navigates the complexities of achieving climate neutrality by 2050, the demand for CRMs becomes paramount. PV panels and batteries are linchpins in the green energy transition, yet they heavily depend on these CRMs. The SOLMATE project emerges as a timely response to this challenge, proposing a novel approach that extends beyond traditional recycling. By prioritizing reuse before recycling, SOLMATE envisions creating a sustainable industrial value chain, in line with the waste hierarchy principles outlined in the Waste Framework Directive.

The SOLMATE Journey

Over the next four years, SOLMATE will unravel the potential of secondary EV batteries and PV panels that become available for recycling due to the rapid development of the PV and EV markets in Europe. Traditional recycling approaches have historically focused on materials recovery, overlooking the significant potential for second life application before recycling. Moreover, existing recycling processes grapple with challenges related to purity, efficiency, cost, and environmental impact.

The SOLMATE project is strategically designed to lay the foundations for a new industrial value chain. This chain aims to not only sustainably reuse and recycle PV solar panels and EV batteries but also explore emerging markets and high-value applications. Aligned with the “waste hierarchy” principles, SOLMATE emphasizes Prevention, Reuse, Recycling, Recovery, and Disposal.

EnergyVille/VITO’s Role in SOLMATE

EnergyVille/VITO assumes a pivotal role serving as the SOLMATE project coordinator and content lead on collaborative efforts in automated technologies for remote characterization and dismantling of EoL PV. We conduct sustainability assessments, and manage innovations across development, testing, validation, and demonstration phases. We also contribute expertise to the PV inspection and recycling system using advanced XRF (X-ray fluorescence) techniques. Additionally, we actively participate in policy recommendations for low-cost decentralized energy solutions and support communication and dissemination activities.

Meet Our Partners

The SOLMATE consortium brings together a diverse group of partners committed to advancing sustainable energy solutions and recycling technologies:

Get Involved

Stay tuned for more updates on SOLMATE’s progress and upcoming events related to the project by visiting this project page, exploring the project website, or following SOLMATE on LinkedIn.

For inquiries or collaboration opportunities, feel free to contact our Project Manager, Irena Kondratenko.

Irena Kondratenko 

Project Manager

We use cookies or similar technologies (e.g. pixels or social media plug-ins) to optimise your user experience on our website, among other things. In addition, we wish to use analytical and marketing cookies to personalise your visit to our website, to send targeted advertisements to you, and to give us more insight into your use of our website.

Do you consent to our use of cookies for an optimal website experience, so that we can improve our website and surprise you with advertisements? Then confirm with ‘OK’.

Conversely, would you like to set specific preferences for different types of cookies? This can be done via our Cookie Policy. Would you like more information about our use of cookies or how to delete cookies? Please read our Cookie Policy.