Europe Wants to Break Chinese Solar Supremacy
European industry and institutions wants to reverse the tide of Chinese dominance in the market for solar panels and build a giant factory with a capacity of 1 GW per year, with 1200 employees. Initial investment required: 1 billion euro. Leading institutions behind the push: Fraunhofer Institut für Solare Energiesysteme (ISE) in Freiburg, french INES (Institut National de l’Énergie Solaire) and the private Swiss Zentrum für Elektronik und Mikrotechnik (Centre Suisse d’Électronique et de Microtechnique, CSEM). If the plans are realized, the world’s largest solar panel factory would emerge in Freiburg, near the location where the borders of Germany, France and Switzerland meet, within three years. A pilot could start next year. An important goal is to lower the price of solar panels to the tune that it can compete with China. According to some estimates, the price could be 20% below of what Chinese manufacturers are currently asking.
Our take: how about diverting 1 billion euro from the Iter fantasy project? Solar panels are proven technology and it is high time that all European households cover their roofs with panels, made in Europe, starting *now*.