Solar PV R&DProject APVI Silicon to Solar Study
This report details the role of PV in achieving net zero targets, PV market projections for 2030 and 2050, and PV supply and technology options across the value chain.
The target of net zero emissions by 2050 has now been accepted in Australia1 and around the world. Achieving this target, requires a rapid transition to renewable energy. For Australia, with its abundance of sunshine and land, this means that solar power will provide most of the future electricity generation. Australia’s potential as a renewable energy superpower is heavily reliant on the availability of solar modules for the generation of solar electricity, which are predominantly manufactured in China by companies owned by Chinese entities. This dependency on a single external source raises concerns about Australia’s control or influence over the solar supply chain and, therefore, its renewable energy future.
Australia has three levers to manage and secure the continuous, reliable and cost-effective supply of solar power. Firstly, it can continue to depend on China as a single source; secondly, it can hope that the US, Europe or India, all of whom have stated ambitious manufacturing plans, will produce enough solar modules so that Australia can procure its share from these regions; thirdly, it can take some control over the solar photovoltaic (PV) supply chain by establishing local manufacturing capabilities. A successful supply chain strategy will entail setting and continuing to adjust all three levers over the coming decades to manage Australia’s transition to renewable energy smoothly and successfully.