EC launches ‘Made in Europe’ alliance for PV industry

The European Commission officially launched on Friday the EU Solar Photovoltaic Industry Alliance which aims to recover production lost to China and create a “Made in Europe” industry. The new alliance will encourage investment in large factories, aiming for an annual output of 30 GW for each key solar component by 2025 – more than six times the current capacity of around 4.5 GW per year. This was reported by the European publication Euractiv.

With this alliance, we want to create complete value-added solar photovoltaic chains” in Europe to “reduce our dependencies” and create a product in the European Union

Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market

 Europe has a lot of catching up to do. Of the 450 GW of PV modules produced globally in 2021, less than 9 GW were produced in the EU.

This year, almost 40 GW of solar PV installations are expected to be installed in the 27-nation bloc – a new record. But this will be achieved thanks to the doubling of solar PV exports from China, Breton pointed out.

We have lost our market shares and are struggling to tap into the potential for jobs in this sector,” he warned. For Breton, this is the “green paradox”: although solar energy is “absolutely necessary” for Europe’s decarbonisation and energy independence, the bloc is almost entirely dependent on China for manufacturing and importing components. Beijing currently controls 80% of global solar PV generation capacity. And for global polysilicon and ingots, the share will soon reach almost 95%.

Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market

In other words, one out of every seven panels in the world” is made in China – often not in a sustainable way, the French EU commissioner added. 

Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market

The industrial union is part of an EU solar energy strategy published in May, which was unveiled alongside wider EU plans to end Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels following the invasion of Ukraine. The aim is to deploy almost 600 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV capacity by 2030, with an interim target of 320 GW by 2030 – more than double the unit’s current output.

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