The white paper PV manufacturing in Europe: Understanding the value chain for a successful industrial policy realized by the PV industry working group.
The chief threat to the cost competitiveness of PV manufacturing in Europe is the cost of energy, which weighs heavily in the competitive advantage of other global PV production markets. To solve this challenge, the EU PV industrial policy will likely need to address the operational challenges of several segments of PV production, from raw materials production to module assembly. Investments in R&I to accelerate the adoption of production technologies with higher energy efficiency and better throughput will also have an impact.
Moreover, European manufacturers face competitiveness issues due to a lack of value chain integration on the continent, requiring a specific focus on ensuring the availability of production capacity throughout the entire PV value chain.
Although the EU maintained a relative leadership in several areas of PV research and innovation (most notably new cells technologies such as heterojunction and perovskite tandem), there is a rapid growth of R&I investments by the public and private sectors of other regions, inducing a rapid catch up if not overtake. The EU will need to expand R&I investments in accordance with its renewed ambitions for PV manufacturing, considering the crucial role of positive R&I/industry interconnections in the successful growth of PV manufacturing.