Solar PV is a crucial pillar of clean energy transitions worldwide, underpinning efforts to reach international energy and climate goals. Over the last decade, the amount of solar PV deployed around the world has increased massively while its costs have declined drastically. 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.
This special report examines solar PV supply chains from raw materials all the way to the finished product, spanning the five main segments of the manufacturing process: polysilicon, ingots, wafers, cells and modules. The analysis covers supply, demand, production, energy consumption, emissions, employment, production costs, investment, trade and financial performance, highlighting key vulnerabilities and risks at each stage. Because diversification is one of the key strategies for reducing supply chain risks, the report assesses the opportunities and challenges of developing solar PV supply chains in terms of job creation, investment requirements, manufacturing costs, emissions and recycling.
Finally, the report summarises policy approaches that governments have taken to support domestic solar PV manufacturing and provides recommendations based on those.