The increasing geographic concentration of solar PV manufacturing and supply chain challenges are prompting governments around the world to implement policies to stimulate domestic manufacturing. Policy discussions have historically been focused downstream, on how to bolster the business case to sell solar PV electricity, but little attention has been paid to upstream policy options to stimulate solar PV supply chain diversification.
Our webinar was moderated by Dries Acke, Policy Director, SolarPower Europe and featured contributions from:
- Paolo Frankl, Head of the Renewable Energy Division, International Energy Agency (IEA)
- Heymi Bahar, Senior analyst - Renewable Energy Markets and Policy, International Energy Agency (IEA)
- Leah Charpentier, Head of European Regulatory and Government Affairs, First Solar
- Jacek Truszczynski, Deputy Head of Unit, DG GROW, European Commission
- Ignacio Asenjo, Policy Officer, DG ENER, European Commission
- Javier Sanz, Thematic Leader, Renewable energy, EIT InnoEnergy
- Dr. Moritz Borgmann, Chief Commercial Officer, Meyer-Burger
Paolo Frankl outlined the main findings of the IEA’s ‘Special Report on Global Solar PV Supply Chains.’ He noted that the concentration of PV supply chains is concerning; that we must diversify raw materials supplies and manufacturing; de-risk manufacturing investment; continue to foster innovation; ensure environmental and social sustainability; and develop and strengthen recycling capabilities. Frankl also emphasised that solar PV manufacturing concentration risks the security of supply, and potentially can lead to global disruption.
Jacek Truszczynski outlined the ambition of the newly announced EU Solar PV Industry Alliance. This alliance will scale up manufacturing technologies of innovative solar photovoltaic products and components. It will also contribute to accelerating the deployment of solar power across the EU and improving the resilience of the EU's energy system.
Finally, Dr. Moritz Borgmann warned that European solar PV market needs to be more competitive on the global stage. Ultimately, he argued that the EU must prioritise scaling-up solar PV manufacturing.
Ignacio Asenjo analysed EU solar supply chains, and commented on the increased demand for solar panels. He noted that: "One factor which will have a specific influence for EU manufacturing products is the customisation of solar panels in the future." Asenjo also emphasised that Europe must “think global, and consider being a part of the global value chain.”