Global solar PV supplies are over-concentrated in China, says IEA

China holds currently almost 80% share in all the key manufacturing stages of solar panels, according to a report

Big Zero Report 2022

The global solar PV supplies are currently heavily concentrated in China, the International Energy Agency has said.

In the first study of this kind, the agency stresses that global manufacturing capacity for solar panels has increasingly moved out of Europe, Japan, the US and China in the last decade.

The authors of the report note that China’s share in all the key manufacturing stages of solar panels exceeds 80% today.

They suggest the country’s share in other components, including polysilicon and wafers is set to rise to more than 95% in the coming years.

Polysilicon and wafer are key raw materials in the solar PV supply chain.

The IEA has warned that meeting international energy goals requires a major expansion of the global manufacturing capacity.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said: “China has been instrumental in bringing down costs worldwide for solar PV, with multiple benefits for clean energy transitions.

At the same time, the level of geographical concentration in global supply chains also poses potential challenges that governments need to address.

“Accelerating clean energy transitions around the world will put further strain on these supply chains to meet growing demand, but this also offers opportunities for other countries and regions to help diversify production and make it more resilient.”

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