Financial support for PV manufacturing facilities in Europe ‘urgently needed’, solar CEOs say

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
Solar cell testing at a Meyer Burger facility in Germany. Image: Meyer Burger.

The CEOs of companies such as First Solar, BayWa r.e. and Meyer Burger have written to the European Commission (EC) to call for urgent action to support the redevelopment of European PV manufacturing.

In a letter sent yesterday to EC President Ursula von der Leyen, CEOs of 12 European and American companies said that developing a robust European solar manufacturing value chain and decreasing dependence on imports “will significantly reinforce” the EC’s energy security ambitions.

They highlighted a recent report from the International Energy Agency that found China has invested ten times more than Europe in new PV supply capacity since 2011, meaning the country’s share in all PV module manufacturing stages – polysilicon, ingots, wafers, cells and modules – exceeds 80%.

In the letter, which was also signed by the CEO of trade body SolarPower Europe, the signatories said that ambitious and accelerated financial support for large-scale PV manufacturing projects in Europe “is urgently needed, flanked by competitive opex support for the entire supply chain, in particular the energy-intensive production of polysilicon, ingots and wafers”.

They pointed to international measures that highlight the need for stronger European action in accelerating its participation in the global competition for solar PV value chains.

The signatories noted that the US’s Inflation Reduction Act is proof of the country’s ambitions when it comes to reshoring clean energy industries, adding that the legislation provides clear and tangible operating expenses and capital expenditures benefits that guarantee predictable operational support for almost ten years.

They also highlighted an innovative auction design in India that is providing clarity to the solar industry. The country recently released guidelines for the second round of an incentive scheme that aims to add 65GW of PV module manufacturing capacity.

To ensure Europe’s competitive participation within a globally diversified solar supply chain, the signatories urged the EC to replicate the EU Chips Act – which aims to boost Europe’s share of global chip production capacity to 20%, up from its current level of around 10% – for solar PV technology.

The CEOs also called for the promotion of solar PV production in the National Resilience and Recovery Plans, which are part of NextGenerationEU, the EU’s response to the challenges COVID-19 has posed to the European economy and to prepare it for the green and digital transitions.

The proposals follow warnings last week that PV manufacturing projects across Europe are at risk of being mothballed due to soaring power prices. Consultancy Rystad Energy said the energy-intensive nature of solar PV manufacturing processes is leading some operators to temporarily close or abandon production facilities.

Maxeon Solar Technologies has since confirmed to PV Tech that it has shut down a PV module manufacturing plant in France, citing a challenging price environment.

The signatories to the letter said: “The challenges faced by solar manufacturers in Europe are many… Europe continues to face skyrocketing electricity prices – a concrete threat not only for the remaining EU solar manufacturing capacity, but also for any ambition to bring the solar value chain back to Europe.”

29 November 2022
PV ModuleTech EMEA in Malaga on 29-30 November 2022 will address the factors underpinning the changing PV module landscape, gathering together all the key stakeholders across the value-chain from module production to field testing. Join us for presentations from the leading players in the sector, clearly identifying the opportunities and challenges set to impact module supply to Europe and the Middle-East over the next few years.
14 March 2023
PV CellTech will be return to Berlin on 14-15 March 2023 and looking at the competing technologies and roadmaps for PV cell mass production during 2024-2026.
6 June 2023
Join us in Napa to unlock the key to reliable PV module supply to the U.S. market in 2023 & 2024. We'll also be gathering the main players in the US solar market for some wine tasting!

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
November 25, 2022
PV Tech Premium caught up with Gyanesh Chaudhary, vice-chairman and managing director at Indian PV module manufacturer Vikram Solar, which has a 2.5GW annual production capacity, to discuss the thinking behind the ALMM and PLI schemes and whether ingot and wafer production is realistic in India.
PV Tech Premium
November 21, 2022
Qcells has its eye on the US with several recently announced plans for large investments in manufacturing, but it is also rebranding away from pure module manufacturing to also offer holistic home energy solutions with a push in the UK market.
November 21, 2022
Jordanian solar manufacturer Philadelphia Solar has entered into a joint venture (JV) with US-based Translucent Energy to establish a manufacturing facility in the US. The factory is expected to produce 1.2GW of capacity, with production scheduled to begin by 2024.
November 18, 2022
US solar manufacturer First Solar will supply Intersect Power with an additional 4.9GWdc of its thin-film PV modules. The transaction means that Intersect Power has ordered 7.3GWdc of First Solar technology this year.
November 17, 2022
Enel North America intends to build a solar cell and module manufacturing facility in the US with an initial capacity of at least 3GW.
November 17, 2022
Thin-film manufacturer First Solar has confirmed that its fourth US factory will be opened in Lawrence County, Alabama. The factory has an expected manufacturing capacity of 3.5GWdc annually and will represent an investment of approximately US$1.1 billion.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
November 29, 2022
Malaga, Spain
Solar Media Events
February 22, 2023
Leonardo Royal Hotel London Tower Bridge
Solar Media Events
March 14, 2023
Berlin, Germany
Solar Media Events
March 21, 2023
Lisbon, Portugal
Solar Media Events
June 6, 2023
Napa, USA