Solar panels are warranted to last for 20-30 years. Many will last longer than that. However, at some point the panels will need to be decommissioned. Since panels are made largely of glass and aluminum, most of the materials can be recycled.

However, it is still useful to know just how much material is contained in solar panels. As shown in the spreadsheet below, solar panels weigh about 58 – 65 metric tonnes per megawatt (MW). For panels manufactured in 2018, this amounts to 689,000 tons.

Download the full spreadsheet here (not yet available – for now, download via the Excel spreadsheet above)

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This data was used in Will waste from retiring solar panels overrun our future landfills?


Code: m134 SolWaste math xbMath