© Fraunhofer ISE
A European PV production, like the one shown here at Fraunhofer ISE, can be market competitive.
“The production of PV materials and components like silicon wafers, solar cells and PV modules at locations in Germany and Europe is of particular importance for the further development of the German mechanical engineering industry in this sector,” says Dr. Jutta Trube, Division Manager Photovoltaic Equipment at VDMA. “In this context, we commissioned the Fraunhofer ISE to analyze the possibilities and prerequisites of mass production in a study, which is presently being carried out.” In this study, the currently relevant technology based on surface- passivated monocrystalline silicon solar cells (mono-PERC) is considered along its entire value chain from the wafer to the module. The total production costs of a site located in Germany/Europe are compared to a production site located in China.
© Fraunhofer ISE
From the standpoint of both a sustainable market perspective as well as the establishment of a multi-gigawatt (GW) factory in Europe, suppliers that are important for PV module manufacturing should also produce locally. Local manufactures of expensive consumer materials such as glass and aluminum frames shall especially be won over. In this way, it is possible to further reduce the manufacturing costs in Europe, thus improving the cost benefits of a European production as compared to imported Chinese modules.
The complete study shall be finalized by the end of June. The final version will provide a detailed analysis of the cost drivers as well as the saving and development potentials.