Sustainable management of solar e-waste is an emerging priority for the off-grid solar sector. Many industry leaders have explored potential e-waste management solutions including through product repair and preventive maintenance while others have deployed pilots – yet these efforts remain nascent and under-resourced.
In 2019, the Global LEAP Global LEAP Awards launched the Solar E-Waste Challenge to identify innovations in e-waste management for the off-grid sector. The Challenge, supported by USAID and UK aid, identified eight solar distributors and recyling companies in five countries across sub-Saharan Africa to receive up to $200,000 USD in grant funding. The Awardees are currently implementing projects focused on collection and take-back, informal sector engagement, recycling, repair and refurbishment for off-grid solar e-waste.
The second Global LEAP Solar E-Waste Challenge, supported by USAID, made $1.2 million in grant funding available to support the research and development of more sustainable solar home system and battery technologies for the off-grid solar sector in sub-Saharan Africa. The four Awardees are implementing projects to extend product and/or component lifespan; enhance product repairability and recyclability; facilitate refurbishment, reuse or repurposing; or reduce rare metal and hazardous material composition.
Source: EA Africa