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  • The weekend read: EU solar manufacturing – The time is now

The weekend read: EU solar manufacturing – The time is now

Mar 12 2022

European solar manufacturing is back on the agenda after over a decade of minimal activity. Ambitious proposals are in place to reactivate a booming industry with investment earmarked, factories planned, sustainability goals announced, and political strategies outlined to support the projected growth of PV installations. Can these plans be realized? The UP Initiative will spend the second quarter delving into this question.

PV veterans will remember with a heavy heart the relatively recent decimation of the continent’s manufacturing landscape, after Asian competitors outpriced and out supplied their European peers at eyewatering speed. However, as Europe remains one of the largest solar markets globally, deployment levels continue to ramp up, and sustainability issues come to the fore. Calls for meaningful domestic manufacturing capacity to be re-erected have become increasingly loud over the past few years, and it appears that in 2022 they may begin to be answered.

The SolarPower Europe (SPE) trade group is one of many organizations determined to re-establish a homegrown solar manufacturing landscape. In a recent op-ed on pv-magazine.com, CEO Walburga Hemetsberger stated that the association envisions 20GW of PV production in Europe by 2025, covering the entire value chain, from polysilicon to modules. “This is the objective we set for the European Solar Initiative, an industrial alliance we launched in February this year [2021], which facilitates the redevelopment of industrial projects in Europe,” she wrote. As she pointed out, however, manufacturers must establish gigawatt-scale fabs to be cost competitive.

Source: pv magazine International