The pandemic, combined with additional conjunctural events, led to logistics prices hike as well as increases of raw materials prices. As many other industries, the solar PV sector was impacted, with substantial inflation of PV module prices, which approached the 0,30 US$/Wp. But such turmoil across the supply chain can also create opportunities, e.g. by enabling the competitiveness of local manufacturing in comparison with centralized, large scale manufacturing bases located in Asia. To assess these opportunities, this paper provides estimations of the factory gate cost of manufacturing PV modules using mono c-Si p-type PERC cells, in 2022 and 2025, through vertically integrated factories located in France, Morocco and South Africa of 1GW of production capacity.
Results show that it remains challenging to be cost competitive with China-based vertically integrated manufacturing. The gap remains higher than 20%, even in the best-case situation, with 0,37 US$/Wp in France, 0,36 US$/Wp in South Africa and 0,34 US$/Wp in Morocco achievable in 2022. The most influential factors are economies of scale, polysilicon price, cell efficiency or the cost of electricity. Competitiveness can be reached in the medium-term, only by focusing on these factors simultaneously, and with the support of public authorities, direct and indirect.
Keywords: Manufacturing, Techno-economic assessment, Factory, Cost competitiveness
Philippe Macé, Elina Bosch, Monica Aleman, Gaëtan Masson, Adrien Van Rechem,