Solar panels convert energy from sunlight into electricity. The typical lifespan of a solar panel is around 25 years. Some of the earliest installed solar energy systems are starting to arrive at the end-of-life of their systems. States vary in terms of their classification of solar panel waste as hazardous waste and whether they have any end-of-life policies for solar panels, including waste management and recycling. Many states (including Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri) provide tax incentives that encourage renewable energy, including property tax incentives for solar panels. HB 1997, filed during the 2022 Missouri regular legislative session, would remove the statewide exemption of solar energy systems from property tax valuations, but still allow the assessor to exempt these systems at their discretion when used exclusively by a single property. This bill would also modify several provisions relating to property taxation of solar energy systems owned by utility companies.
There is less information on the degradation and failure timelines for the most recently installed solar panels. It is unclear if data on older panels will apply to newer panels.