Renewable energy Sector

Way Forward

The objective of developing a state of play review of the RE sector for the RE-SOURCING Project is to identify what has been achieved and what needs to be done for the future to achieve a level playing field, in implementing RS practices, in the RE sector.  

With that in mind, the project team has developed a Vision (see figure below), which visualizes the future state of the renewable energy sector, to be achieved by 2050. The Vision has been prepared in consultation with experts from the Project’s Platform Steering Committee (PSC) and the Advisory Board (AB) and consultations also took place at the renewable energy roadmap workshop, held in October 2020.  

The Vision is based on the concepts of planetary boundaries and strong sustainability, providing essential guidelines regarding the preservation of natural capital. Over the course of the project, the team will be developing a roadmap, in consultation with important RES stakeholders and experts from industry, policy and civil society, to provide a step-by-step approach towards achieving the vision.  

Some indications for what this roadmap would need to consider include:  

Mining Issues Requiring Urgent Addressing  

Given the many challenges for the extractive sector, issues that need to be more urgently address include:  

  • Short term: The improvement of transparency along the entire value chain: End user should have information on the production of the raw materials used in his/her consumer goods.  
  • Medium term: International standards to ensure societal and environmental protection and build a collective understanding of responsible business practices. 
  • Long term: The development of a level playing field for all players in the supply chain, including the formalization of artisanal and small-scale mining.  

Strategies Required for Manufacturing  

Development of strategies for and by both industry and policy makers include:  

  • Short term: Strategies that support measures for carbon pricing, protecting livelihoods and rights of local community 
  • Medium term: Strategies that allow for international standards to be implemented across all value chains, maximizing circular economy principles and reduction of material consumption 
  • Long term: Strategies that provide RS measures in addressing material needs of renewable energy deployment.  

Actions to Improve Collection & Treatment Systems  

To ensure the sustainability in the entire lifecycle of RE technologies, implementation strategies and actions are required to address both environmental and social aspects. These actions include the following:  

  • Environmental impact actions include product design to take consideration of end-of-life recycling and the substitution of critical raw materials.  
  • Social impact actions include the transfer and building of recycling infrastructure in developing countries, with urban mining of e-waste as a potential sector 
  • Actions to improve policy and legislative framework around collection and treatment including mandatory recycling quotes, incentivizing substitution of critical raw materials, etc.  
  • Actions that set long-term goals to recycle more than 90% of all PV modules and wind turbines and reduce GHG emissions along the whole value chain by more than 90%.
EU flag

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement No. 869276

Coordinated by:

  • Vienna University of Economics and Business,
  • Institute for Managing Sustainability
  • Welthandelsplatz 1A
  • 1020 Vienna
  • email: info@re-sourcing.eu