“Together with innovations in manufacturing, this should offer an opportunity for the EU to take a fresh look at the PV manufacturing industry and reverse the situation.
The EU’s presence in the far upstream and far downstream parts of the value chain could well provide a basis for rebuilding the PV industry. This would require a focus on specialisation or high-performance/high-value products, such as equipment and inverter manufacturing and PV products tailored to the specific needs of the building sector, transport (vehicle integrated PV) and/or agriculture (dual land use with AgriPV), or to the demand for high-efficiency/high-quality solar power installations to optimize use of available surfaces and of resources. The modularity of the technology makes it easier to integrate PV in a number of applications, especially in the urban environment. These novel PV technologies, which are now reaching the commercial phase, could offer a new basis for rebuilding the industry. The strong knowledge of the EU research institutions, the skilled labour force, and the existing and emerging industry players provide a basis for re-establishing a strong European photovoltaic supply chain. To remain competitive, such industry needs to develop a global outreach. Building a sizeable EU PV manufacturing industry would also reduce the risk of supply disruptions and quality risks.”
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