Q2 2022 – EU manufacturing

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?

pv magazine will spend the second quarter looking at the companies acting to establish PV fabs, particularly those which are doing so in a sustainable manner. In addition to revisiting the circular manufacturing projects highlighted in the third quarter of 2020, we will be looking at the challenges European manufacturers face, the advantages of producing Made in Europe solar products, and what needs to be done to convince political leaders and other decision-makers to jump on board.

pv magazine 03/2022

The time is now: Presentation of the quarterly theme.

pv magazine 04/2022

Don’t call it a comeback: While Europe was previously a leader in the manufacturing of solar cells and modules, the plans falling into place this year already represent a scale never before seen on the continent. And they’ll need that scale if Europe is to meet the expected demand for new solar over the coming decades, without relying heavily on imported products and components. Many of the technologies at the center of these plans are brand new as well; pv magazine looks at a few of the innovators planning to scale up alongside more mainstream players, and how these fit into plans for a fully fledged European PV supply chain.

Design for circularity: Lithuanian PV manufacturer SoliTek provides an update on its investigations into solar panel design for circularity. In addition to addressing recycling technologies, they assessed solutions for higher circularity, and qualitatively evaluated the impact of these solutions to select the most promising way forward.

pv magazine 05/2022

Sustainable security with EU manufacturing: The role of sustainability in plans for European PV production is not merely significant – it’s existential. The raison d’être of a reborn manufacturing sector will rest on demand for products at a premium price point, given the pressures of environmental, social and governance standards on the global solar value chain. The industry must offer higher efficiency at a lower carbon footprint, while reducing reliance on foreign markets to provide regional security, reports pv magazine’s Blake Matich.

The great EU solar manufacturing reset: “We need to bring manufacturing back to Europe and the [European] Commission is willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen,” EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said at the opening of SolarPower Summit 2022. Her words rocketed around the solar community, boosting share prices and invigorating the European solar industrial mission, writes SolarPower Europe CEO Walburga Hemetsberger, as she lays out the actions needed for solar-power EU energy independence.

The next bottleneck: Europe needs to build a solar industry across the entire value chain, including glass, argues Erich Merkle, the CEO of GridParity and a member of the Solar Glass Alliance. When people talk about the PV value chain, they often forget solar glass, which is the heaviest component, accounting for up to 80% of the weight of a standard PV module.

In for the long haul: Italian module materials manufacturer Coveme has weathered many a solar storm since the 1980s, when it commercialized its first backsheet. The president and founder of the company, Pier Luigi Miciano, shares some of the lessons learned, how the company embraces sustainability, the importance of re-establishing a European solar value chain, and what’s in store for the future.

 

Back to the UP Initiative feature page

This page was last updated on May 9, 2022.