EU Chips Act proposed to address semiconductor shortages


With pv magazine hearing reports of difficulties sourcing inverters for sub-utility scale solar projects, and with Italian inverter maker Fimer yesterday citing “a difficult period in finding raw materials, components and batteries,” as reasons for filing for creditor protection, the European Commission has moved to shore up the EU's semiconductor supply chain.

The EU executive yesterday proposed a package of measures to address global semiconductor shortages which it said have caused factory closures in the bloc for carmakers and producers of health care devices, among other industries.

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In this month’s edition, pv magazine takes a deep dive into the world of electromobility, with 22 pages of analysis taking in the market growth and expectations for electric vehicles (EVs) worldwide; how electricity networks will need to grow and adapt to make room for the electrification of transport; and the vital role for solar in all of this. We examine the growing trend for residential and commercial EV chargers linked to PV and optimized to make the most of solar kilowatt-hours, and take a look at some of the early movers working on vehicle-integrated PV – from solar sunroofs to full integration in vehicle bodywork. We also consider a range of e-mobility applications, from commercial trucks to family cars to electric bikes and other “last mile” delivery vehicles.

The commission made a recommendation that it work with member states to try and anticipate, and address, semiconductor shortages immediately while the EU Chips Act it has proposed is considered by the European Parliament and member state representative body the European Council.

The legislative proposal includes plans for the EU, member states and third-party nations already involved with EU programs to provide €11 billion to bolster European semiconductor R&D and innovation, as part of a plan to mobilize more than €43 billion of public and private investment to address the shortage. The commission also pledged access to funding for semiconductor start-ups, under the act's proposals.

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The commission unveiled its measures on the same day as announcing the success of the latest bond issuance held to fund the bloc's NextGeneration EU Covid recovery package.

A €5 billion bond auction attracted bids for €64.1 billion worth of the 30-year investments and came on the heels of a €2.5 billion issuance last month to take the money raised since the fundraising program began last year to €78.5 billion. The EU wants to raise €50 billion in the first half of this year and has planned four more long-term bond exercises plus monthly auctions of EU-bonds and short-term EU-bills.

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