Launch of Reuse and Recycling Services for Used Solar Panels

Jul. 18, 2023
Marubeni Corporation
HAMADA Co., Ltd.

Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter, “Marubeni”) and HAMADA Co., Ltd. (hereinafter, “Hamada”) have established a new company, “Rexia Corporation” (hereinafter, “Rexia”), which has started to provide reuse and recycling-related services involving the sale, purchase, and disposal of used solar panels.


Since the introduction of the Feed-in-Tariffs (FIT)* scheme, demand for solar power generation has been growing rapidly in Japan, with cumulative installed capacity expected to increase from approximately 69 GW as of December 2022 to approximately 120 GW by 2030. Meanwhile, it is forecast that approximately 800,000 tons of solar panels will be disposed of annually by the mid-2030s, when the end of the power sales period under the FIT scheme and the life cycle of solar panels are factored in, which has given rise to concerns about the issue of mass disposal. In Japan, a country subject to frequent natural disasters, several thousand tons of waste are disposed of year on year as a result of damage to solar power plants.

rexia circle

1. Reuse 
To date, initiatives to reuse used solar panels have stalled in Japan due to difficulties in guaranteeing their quality. Rexia purchases panels that have been determined to be reusable through an established performance inspection methodology. It subsequently sells these panels under a product warranty scheme, providing defect liability insurance instituted through its partnership with a major insurance company.

2. Recycle 
Used solar panels unsuitable for reuse due to damage or significant deteriorations in performance have conventionally been disposed of in landfills. Rexia promotes the collection and recycling of used solar panels unsuitable for reuse by separating their materials into glass, cell sheets, and other resources in cooperation with solar panel recycling companies throughout Japan with access to advanced recycling technologies.

Marubeni, Hamada, and Rexia will work together to solve the societal challenge of mass disposal of used solar panels, as well as to establish the mechanisms for a circular economy in Japan, towards the creation of a world in which energy use and sustainability are compatible.

* A system introduced in Japan in 2012 under which the government commits to purchasing electricity generated from renewable energy sources from power companies at a fixed price over a fixed time period.

Overview of Rexia Corporation  
Head Office: 4-2, Ohtemachi 1-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Established: April, 2023
Representative: Minako Wakayama (President)
Main Business: Purchase and sale as well as import/export-related business of used solar power generation equipment and parts and materials
Website: https://rex-ia.com
Overview of Marubeni Corporation
Head Office: 4-2, Ohtemachi 1-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Established: December, 1949
President: Masumi Kakinoki (President)
Main Business: Diverse business activities domains spanning wide-ranging fields including lifestyle, ICT business & logistics, food, agriculture business, forest products, chemicals, metals & mineral resources, energy, power, infrastructure, aerospace & ship, finance, leasing & real estate, construction, industrial machinery & mobility, and next generation business
Website: https://www.marubeni.com/en/
Overview of HAMADA Co., Ltd.
Head Office: 2-2-30 Makami-cho, Takatsuki City, Osaka
Established: November, 1973
President: Tokusuke Hamada (President)
Main Business: Processing and sales of steel and nonferrous metals, Industrial waste management, Demolition work, Energy solutions.
Website: https://www.kkhamada.com/en/

Related Press Release:

・November 21, 2022 
 Memorandum of Understanding for Appropriate Reuse and Recycling of Used Solar Panels