Solar Excellence Shines Through: SOLAR MATERIALS Wins the Solar Startup Award 2024

Press Release

6 March 2024

  • SOLAR MATERIALS were awarded the Solar Startup Award 2024 for their efforts to make solar more circular, and recover more raw materials in the recycling process.

Brussels, BELGIUM (Wednesday 6th March): SOLAR MATERIALS have been awarded the Solar Startup Award 2024 for their pioneering recycling solution. They have developed a new recycling technology that allows the recovery of all raw materials from solar panels with a 98% recovery rate, and a 80% lower carbon footprint.


The Solar Startup Award is an annual prize presented by SolarPower Europe in recognition of the ground-breaking steps that solar innovators are taking towards a renewable-based energy system.


At the SolarPower Summit 2024 in Brussels, Fridolin Franke, CEO & Co-Founder of SOLAR MATERIALS, presented his pitch alongside his co-finalists. Attendees voted on their favourite projects, and following a final vote, SOLAR MATERIALS emerged victorious.


In his presentation, Mr Franke outlined how SOLAR MATERIALS’ mission is to drive a solar recycling revolution. With their recycling process, SOLAR MATERIALS recovers all raw materials, with silver being the key value driver. 



Fridolin Franke, CEO & Co-Founder, SOLAR MATERIALS said; “Winning the Solar Startup Award 2024 shows that the solar industry really cares about recycling and sustainability is not just a buzz word. The award is the perfect stage to introduce our recycling solution to the European solar industry and connect with decision makers from science, industry, and politics.”


Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe said; “At SolarPower Europe, we’ve always believed in the importance of supporting the brightest, most talented solar startups. Only with these pioneering innovators can the solar sector grow sustainably and play its part in the green transition. This year's Solar Startup Award winner is a prime example with their innovative recycling solution. We are delighted to recognise SOLAR MATERIALS' contribution to driving the sector forward, representing the infinite potential of solar.”


Three Solar Startup finalists were nominated by the expert panel following a successful online pitch. Alongside SOLAR MATERIALS, Dries Bols, CEO of LIFEPOWR, and Torge Lahrsen, Co-Founder and CFO of Encentive, presented their work on stage at the SolarPower Summit 2024.


The Solar Startup Award 2024 jury panel was comprised of Jenny Chase, Solar Analyst at BloombergNEF;  Stefan Müeller , Co-Founder, Shareholder and Board Member at Enerparc AG; Felix Krause, Managing Partner at Viero Ventures; and Michael Schmela, Director of Market Intelligence at SolarPower Europe. 


This year, SolarPower Europe has also launched a brand-new Solar Startups website, showcasing this year’s finalists and shortlisted candidates, information about the award and application process, as well as previous participants.


Questions? Get in touch.

Thérèse O Donoghue
Press and Communications Advisor

Header Image

Solar Startup Award 2024 Finalists and the Solar Startup Award 2024 jury panel: Felix Krause, Managing Partner, Viero Ventures; Jenny Chase, Solar Analyst at BloombergNEF; Fridolin Franke, CEO & Co-Founder, SOLAR MATERIALS; Torge Lahrsen, Co-Founder, CFO, Encentive; Dries Bols, CEO, LIFEPOWR; Stefan Müeller , Co-Founder, Shareholder and Board Member at Enerparc AG; and Michael Schmela, Director of Market Intelligence at SolarPower Europe (L-R)


© SolarPower Europe 2024 (download here)




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