Corporate Update

SABIC and Solarge showcase development and commercialization of lightweight, circular solar panels

Published: May 26, 2023

Together with Solarge, a creative maker of circular lightweight solar panels, SABIC, a global leader in the chemical sector, has successfully developed lightweight, circular photovoltaic (PV) panels. This partnership was highlighted on May 22 at the grand opening of Solarge’s new production plant in Weert, Netherlands. At the ceremony, which was also attended by Kadri Simson, the European Commissioner for Energy, and Rob Jetten, the Dutch Minister for Climate & Energy, were representatives from SABIC and Solarge.

The event’s keynote speaker, Lada Kurelec, General Manager of SABIC’s PP & E4PS division, said in her remarks: “As part of our sustainability strategy to support the energy transition, SABIC prioritises collaboration and innovation with sector experts in their disciplines. We are happy. We are thrilled to collaborate with Solarge on this significant initiative in the advancement of circular solar panels and strive to be a trusted partner for sustainable and inclusive growth. On the path to carbon neutrality, we look forward to expanding on this alliance and continuing our efforts to advance sustainability via cooperation and innovation.

Solarge’s CEO, Jan Vesseur, stated: “With this new production line, we can produce solar panels that are as sustainable as possible in large quantities and help hasten the energy transition in a sustainable manner. For us, particularly in terms of execution, the partnership with SABIC in the development of this product has been excellent.

SABIC and Solarge collaborated closely to create a solar panel with a low carbon impact comprised ofPolypropylene compounds made by SABIC®. Many building roofs today are unable to support the weight of the present glass PV panels, but the SABIC PP Compounds utilised in these solar panels reduce weight by more than 50%. Additionally, after 25 years, these PV panels may be recycled within their own production chain, reducing their carbon impact by more than 25%. Customers in the commercial and industrial building market seek lighter and more energy-efficient alternatives, which draw a significant demand for use on industrial roofs.

SABIC and Solarge came up with the initial idea for the portable, spherical PV panels, which they later refined and patented. SABIC created distinct polypropylene materials in this exclusive partnership with Solarge to enable the Solarge lightweight solar panel to satisfyperformance requirements. SABIC then worked together with Solarge in the further application development and testing of the concept, installation, and supported the industrial scale up of the product for market entry.
The SABIC PP compounds used in these panels will be produced at SABIC’s polypropylene compounding site in Genk, Belgium. As the next exciting step, in this ongoing journey, SABIC has already installed 50 of these lightweight PV panels on the roof of this manufacturing facility in a pilot project, marking the start of a full-scale roof installation of nearly 5,000 panels during 2023. This also reaffirms SABIC’s commitment to drive the energy transition toward renewable power through both material applications and reducing the manufacturing carbon footprint.


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