IEA: Exponential Solar PV Growth Needs Diversified Supply Chains

7 July 2022

The world should strengthen and diversify solar panel supply chains to secure the net-zero transition, the International Energy Agency has said in a new report this week. Analysis reflects SolarPower Europe’s longstanding calls to strengthen the European solar value chain through de-risking funds, levelling the sustainability playing field, and ensuring access to raw materials.

“Putting the world on a path to reaching net zero emissions requires solar PV to expand globally on an even greater scale, raising concerns about security of manufacturing supply for achieving such rapid growth rates – but also offering new opportunities for diversification.”

                                                                                                                                        -  IEA (2022), Solar PV Global Supply Chains, IEA, Paris

Friday 8 July 2022, Brussels: Covering the supply chain, from polysilicon to modules, this latest report from the IEA analyses the risks of an imbalanced global value chain – which is currently concentrated in China – and the challenges and opportunities in diversification.


Noting that solar PV is a key pillar of the future energy system, and the most low-cost form of electricity, the IEA sets out 5 key policy action areas to ensure solar PV security of supply:


  • Diversify manufacturing and raw material supplies 
  • De-risk investment 
  • Ensure environmental and social sustainability
  • Continue to foster innovation 
  • Develop and strengthen recycling capabilities


IEA recommendations build on and align well with SolarPower Europe’s proposals to support at least 20 GW of European solar manufacturing by 2025:


“This latest IEA analysis only reinforces our work on rebuilding a European solar manufacturing base that supports the strategic resilience of the renewable transition, diversifies global supply chains, and generates millions of euros in GDP. To deliver the European Commission’s goal of 750 GWdc of solar-powered energy security by 2030, we need at least 20 GW of EU solar PV manufacturing capacity by 2025, and an EU Solar PV Industry Alliance that supports manufacturers across the entire solar value chain.”


- Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe

"The IEA has done excellent work engaging on the challenges and opportunities in rebuilding strategic solar manufacturing capacities. We know what we have to do: de-risk investment in solar PV manufacturing, open markets by valuing sustainability of products, and mobilise public procurement. Time is of essence – policymakers should put solar PV manufacturing at the top of their agenda now, especially considering the tremendous jobs potential in a clean manufacturing industry that has nearly halved its carbon intensity in the last decade.”


- Naomi Chevillard, Head of Regulatory Affairs

IEA: Special Report on Solar PV Global Supply Chains

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