From polysilicon to panels to recycling, how much domestic capacity does the United States actually have?
March 8, 2023 Ryan Kennedy
Image: First Solar
From pv magazine USA
Following the passage of the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), an energized solar industry has started aiming high and envisioning a future in which the United States has a robust domestic energy supply chain. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has published a roadmap to achieve this goal, with a target of 50 GW of annual solar manufacturing capacity by 2030.
The United States has been plagued by numerous pressures threatening the supply of solar modules imported from overseas. With decarbonization and climate goals under threat due to this shortage, the United States is now turning to domestic manufacturing to power the energy transition.
“Greatly expanding US PV manufacturing could mitigate global supply chain challenges and lead to tremendous benefits for the climate as well as for US workers, employers and the economy,” said the US Department of Energy (DoE).
Popular contentThe DoE concluded in a study that US production could reach 10 GW in two years, 15 GW in three years, and 25 GW in five years on its path to 50 GW of annual production.
SEIA said domestic manufacturers should focus on building downstream production first, backfilling components with imports while upstream domestic production is built out. While scaling domestic module capacity will take two to three years, it will be three to five years before there is significant domestic manufacturing capacity for ingots, wafers and cells.The DoE tracks the nationwide capacity of domestic manufacturing. Where does the United States stack up in relation to its goals? The figures below represent active capacity, which is set to expand dramatically due to numerous investment announcements following the enactment of the IRA.
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As the renewable energy industry continues to expand, the value chain of the U.S. solar panel market is becoming more important. The value chain is a series of processes that solar panel manufacturers use to produce and deliver solar panels to the market. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the solar panel value chain in the U.S.
The primary component of the U.S. solar panel value chain are the solar panel manufacturing companies. The first step in the value chain is the design and development process, which involves research and development of solar panels, testing them in the lab, and creating prototypes. The second step is the production process, where the components of the solar panel are assembled. This includes the manufacturing of solar cells, silicon wafers, photovoltaic (PV) modules and mounting equipment. After the production process is complete, the product is ready for distribution.
The distribution process is the third component of the U.S. solar panel value chain. This is when the solar panels are shipped from the manufacturer to the end-user. Distribution involves the logistics of transporting the product, as well as marketing and sales activities. The fourth component is the installation process, which includes installing the solar panels on customers’ rooftops or other locations. Finally, the fifth component is the maintenance process, which consists of regularly inspecting and repairing the panels so that they continue to perform correctly.
There are numerous advantages to the solar panel value chain. First, it helps to reduce the cost of production, as the manufacturer is able to take advantage of economies of scale. Furthermore, the process is relatively efficient, as each component takes less time and cost to produce. In addition, the process is environmentally friendly, as the materials used to manufacture solar panels are mostly recyclable. Finally, the end user can benefit from lower electricity bills due to the increased efficiency of the installed solar panels.
In conclusion, the value chain of the U.S. solar panel industry is an important component for the industry’s growth and development. The processes mentioned above help to reduce the cost of production, ensure a quality product, and provide a sustainable, eco-friendly solution for homeowners. As governments continue to move towards renewable energy, understanding the solar panel value chain is essential.