Australia should construct out its photo voltaic provide chain, from silicon manufacturing to end-of-life processes, and scale back its reliance on imported cells and modules whether it is to attain its potential as a world PV superpower.
The findings of the ‘Australian Silicon Motion Plan’ (ASAP), a report revealed by the nation’s nationwide science company CSIRO and performed by PWC, recommend that Australia might speed up its vitality transition and bolster the safety of its provide chain – and by extension its vitality safety total – by adopting a totally built-in home provide chain.
The report stated that between 2021-2050, photo voltaic PV is about to occupy roughly 50% of Australia’s vitality combine. International installations should triple with the intention to attain web zero 2050, based on latest analysis by BloombergNEF.
The ASAP outlines three ‘horizons’ for provide chain improvement: silicon manufacturing, photo voltaic cell manufacturing and an built-in provide chain.
Silicon manufacturing, and its purification into polysilicon, is overwhelmingly concentrated in China. Australia has vital reserves of quartz, which could be made into silicon, however the report highlights the necessity for consideration to be paid to the home manufacturing course of.
The worldwide photo voltaic provide chain has been underneath elevated scrutiny of late, with considerations round ESG and the traceability of part elements and modules. A US inquiry not too long ago discovered that quite a few photo voltaic firms have been circumventing antidumping and countervailing obligation taxes imposed on Chinese language imports by relocating a portion of their operations to Southeast Asia.
Points additionally come up round polysilicon provide; demand has outstripped provide this 12 months, and energy rationing and shortages in China have seen the worth proceed to rise over the course of 2022. Final month, PV Tech revealed a forecast of the worldwide PV manufacturing marketplace for 2023, which is about to see polysilicon provide and pricing dictate its course. Final month indicators emerged that the worth of polysilicon has begun to drop.
CSIRO senior principal analysis scientist, Chris Vernon stated: “Power independence needs to be a prime precedence for Australia. The growing tempo of the vitality transition and ever-increasing worldwide demand for photo voltaic PV, mixed with an ever-present give attention to ESG points, highlights the fragility of our present provide chains, and makes the pursuit of vitality independence all of the extra necessary.”
World wide, international locations are pushing for home PV manufacturing and provide. The US’s game-changing Inflation Discount Act has incentivised home manufacturing, the European Photo voltaic PV Trade Alliance was launched final week and India has set a 65GW home manufacturing goal with its production-linked incentive scheme.
Vernon stated: “The Australian Silicon Motion Plan suggests a pathway for the creation of an trade that has the potential to supply employment and reskilling alternatives, the supply of great financial advantages that come from including worth to Australia’s mineral endowment, improvement of recent industries in regional Australia with the world’s finest ESG requirements, all whereas bettering Australia’s vitality safety and independence.”