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Role of solar PV in net‐zero growth: An analysis of international manufacturers and policies

Arcipowska, Aleksandra; Blanco, Perez Sara; Jakimów, Małgorzata; Baldassarre, Brian; Polverini, Davide; Cabrera, Miguel

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Aleksandra Arcipowska

Perez Sara Blanco

Brian Baldassarre

Davide Polverini

Miguel Cabrera


In May 2022, the European Commission adopted a new European Union (EU) Solar Energy Strategy [1] aiming to ensure that solar energy achieves its full potential in helping to meet the European Green Deal's climate and energy targets. A goal of the strategy is to reach nearly 600 GW of installed solar photovoltaics (PV) capacity by 2030. While Europe is a pioneer in the definition of new policy requirements to ensure the circularity and sustainability of PV products, its manufacturing capabilities are limited. The EU mostly imports PV modules from China, which for the last decade has remained the global leader in PV manufacturing across the supply chain. This article aims to provide insight into the solar PV industry and the surrounding policy context, focusing on the manufacturing phase and its climate impact. It provides a comparative overview of the key players in the European and Chinese PV markets with an overview of the whole supply chain (i.e. production of polysilicon, cells, wafers and modules). Having in mind the net-zero commitments across the globe, and a central role of the solar PV in the energy transition, the demand for PV products is expected to grow exponentially in the next decades. With this in mind, the authors look into environmental impacts from the PV manufacturing. A simplified analysis concludes on the suitability of the PV manufacturing process today and indicates the opportunities for the net-zero transition in the future. While the focus is on the carbon impacts of the solar PV industry, the authors also identify other relevant aspects (such as circularity), laying the ground for a future research.


Arcipowska, A., Blanco, P. S., Jakimów, M., Baldassarre, B., Polverini, D., & Cabrera, M. (2024). Role of solar PV in net‐zero growth: An analysis of international manufacturers and policies. Progress in Photovoltaics,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 27, 2024
Online Publication Date Mar 21, 2024
Publication Date Mar 21, 2024
Deposit Date Apr 11, 2024
Publicly Available Date Apr 11, 2024
Journal Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Print ISSN 1062-7995
Electronic ISSN 1099-159X
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Electrical and Electronic Engineering; Condensed Matter Physics; Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment; Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
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