Silicon to Solar: PV Manufacturing in Australia

The case for making solar panels locally

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funded the Australian PV Institute (APVI) to examine manufacturing opportunities across the solar PV supply chain in Australia from polysilicon, through wafers, cells and modules.

solar manufacturing

[Update 28 March 2024] Exciting news in the Australian solar sector, with the Albanese government announcing a $1 billion investment in local Australian production of solar panels via its newly-formed Solar SunShot manufacturing program.

Solar SunShot will see the $1 billion in subsidies and grants largely dedicated to transforming the now closed Liddell Power Station near Muswellbrook, NSW, into a solar manufacturing hub.

More on ITP’s work on the Silicon to Solar study:

ITP worked alongside our fellow members of the Australian PV Institute on the Silicon to Solar study. Brett joined colleagues from the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP), 5B, AGL, Aspiradac, Deloitte, Energus, Siemens, SunDrive, Tindo, and Bright Dimension. This collaborative effort has seen direct results in informing the government’s significant investment in local solar manufacturing.

In order to provide the depth of research required to form a strong case for policy recommendations, ITP and the team investigated the following parts of the local PV manufacturing landscape:

Assessing current and projected local and international PV demand and manufacturing capacity; engaging partners across the PV sector to outline the technical, economic, business and policy options, opportunities and barriers to local manufacturing of solar panels; developing recommendations for a coordinated and sector-wide approach to making local manufacturing a reality.

Recommendations in the final report included best practise ways to establish solar PV manufacturing as a strategic priority industry for Australia; looking at how to implement PV manufacturing here while accounting for workforce development and training, planning and regulatory approvals, permitting, and international partnerships; developing supply-side policy support levers, including concessional finance and production credits; and encouraging consumer-side policy levers across all levels of government, including government procurement, circular economy and local content incentives.

To see this work in full detail, please head over to the APVI website.

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