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This paper presents a comprehensive analysis of circular design principles applied to the sustainable end-of-life management of renewable energy assets, focusing on the comparative study of renewable energy policies in Illinois, USA, and Germany. As the deployment of renewable energy technologies like solar panels and wind turbines expands globally, the question of their sustainable disposal becomes increasingly critical. This research delves into how circular economy approaches can be integrated into policy frameworks to ensure that these technologies are sustainable not only in their operation but also at the end of their lifecycle.

The study methodically reviews existing policies and programs in both regions, assessing their effectiveness in incorporating practices such as recycling, reuse, and the reduction of environmental impact. Key findings highlight the distinct approaches of Illinois and Germany, with Germany taking a more proactive stance in embedding circular design principles within its legislative frameworks. The paper evaluates the successes and limitations of these policies, providing insights into how circular design can significantly enhance the environmental sustainability of renewable energy systems.

By proposing recommendations for policy enhancements and emphasizing the need for global standards in renewable energy end-of-life management, this paper contributes valuable perspectives to the discourse on sustainable development and circular economy in the energy sector. It serves as a crucial resource for policymakers, researchers, and practitioners seeking to foster a more sustainable and circular approach in renewable energy deployment and management.

Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2024

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Circular Design Principles, Circular Economy, End-of-Life Management, Renewable Energy, Sustainability, Policy Analysis, Recycling, Decommissioning, Illinois Renewable Energy, Germany Renewable Energy, Environmental Policy, Material Recovery, Solar Energy, Wind Energy


Environmental Policy | Environmental Studies | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Sustainability

Analysis of Circular Design Principles for the Sustainable End-of-Life Management of Renewable Energy Assets: Investigation of Illinois and Germany Renewable Energy Policies and Programs.