In a panel on the rationale for Made in Europe PV, we heard the panelists discussing the recent price hikes in solar raw materials and logistics, which have “significantly” increased over the past few months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, among other factors.
Naomi Chevillard, senior policy advisor, SolarPower Europe, believes these increases make the case for the development of a European PV manufacturing industry. However, she says they are not the only driver. There are also opportunities in the HJT technology, for instance, that Meyer Burger is working on.
Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis at BloombergNEF, disagrees. Stating that Europe has the capacity to manufacture perhaps 1 GW of solar products, a European manufacturing market would always remain a “cottage industry”.
She added that even if we had solar manufacturing bases in Europe, we would still have experienced price increases. “There’s a global economic upswing that’s driving commodity prices up,” she said, and also a perceived polysilicon problem, which BNEF is not convinced actually exists. Furthermore, she believes a China-free supply chain is unrealistic, given the fact China is a leading manufacturer of ingots and wafers.
Source: pv magazine