Publications Briefings de l'Ifri
Solar photovoltaic manufacturing chain

European Solar PV Manufacturing: Terminal Decline or Hope for a Rebirth? Ifri Memos, Ifri, April 25, 2024

While solar photovoltaic (PV) installations are booming in Europe (and in other parts of the world), the local industry is closing down. Over the past two years, the European installed solar PV capacity has been multiplied by two. On the other hand, the remaining European manufacturers of solar PV panels are dying.

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European Solar PV Manufacturing: Terminal Decline or Hope for a Rebirth? Download
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Installed solar PV capacities are experiencing an unprecedented increase in Europe: in two years, they have been multiplied by two with 60 gigawatts (GW) added in 2023. However, local solar PV manufacturers are not benefiting from it as the Chinese competition is knocking them down.

Structurally much more competitive, prices of Chinese solar panels have further decreased by 42% in 2023 – making it difficult even for some Chinese companies to survive and forcing many of the remaining European manufacturers out of the market.

This situation fragilizes Europe’s strategic autonomy and decarbonization. Covid-19-like disruption or an aggression against Taiwan would leave the continent without any supply. American manufacturers are also flexing their muscles with the aggressive Inflation Reduction Act.

Europe’s answer, the Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA), a tougher approach to China’s imports and national support measures, could create a new generation of solar PV manufacturers in Europe.

Energy transition European Strategy Solar Europe