Europe had 650 MW of solar cell manufacturing capacity at end 2020

Green Energy

The latest version of the Photovoltaics Report produced by German research body the Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Systems (ISE) has laid bare the state of European PV manufacturing at the end of 2020, according to a report by pv-magazine.

The continent had 22.1 GWp (gigawatt-peak) of solar-grade polysilicon production capacity at that point, according to an executive summary, published on Tuesday. According to the report, Europe's polysilicon capacity was held by Norway-based, Chinese state-controlled manufacturer Elkem and by German businesses Wacker and Silicon Products.

By contrast, Europe had just 1.25 GW of solar wafer production capacity at the end of 2020, according to the Fraunhofer ISE report, based in Norway, at Norsun and REC Silicon-owned Norwegian Crystals; and in France, at energy company EDF's Photowatt operation. The lack of European cell manufacturing capacity was even more glaring, with the study estimating just 650 MW of facilities, held by Finnish business Valoe at its fab in Lithuania; by Italian energy business Enel in its homeland; and by Ecosolifer in Hungary.

The market had 6.75 GW of solar module production capacity at the end of the year, however, spread across 29 companies identified by the research institute. 

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