Solar Energy Manufacturing in Australia: The Current State and Future Potential

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According to a new report, solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing is set to have a bright future in Australia.

The Australian PV Institute (APVI) says Australia is uniquely positioned to become a global leader in solar energy manufacturing. With abundant raw materials, strong research and development capabilities, and consistent demand for solar PV products, Australia has all the ingredients necessary to build a thriving solar manufacturing industry.

However, Australia is currently totally over-dependent on China, which dominates the global solar panels and cells market. This reliance leaves the country vulnerable to fluctuations in the worldwide market and puts Australia at a disadvantage when competing for large-scale solar projects.

The report comes as the solar industry is booming globally, with installations expected to double over the next five years.

China will continue to be a significant supplier of panels to Australia. Still, it was crucial to diversify supply, particularly by utilizing local firms, according to Renate Egan, the current APVI secretary and head of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics.

Australia is already installing 4 gigawatts (GW) of solar PV capacity each year, but only 3% of that comes from local suppliers. However, this is predicted to change in the future as the solar PV industry continues to grow. The report indicates that Australia’s annual solar PV installation will triple by 2050.

“We have a pressing need, we have the natural resources, and we have a very sizeable market. Now is the time for Australia to invest in the independence of our energy supply,” APVI said.

The report says that such an expansion would create thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars in economic activity. But it warns that Australia is in danger of missing out on the opportunity because of a lack of government support and coordination between different levels of government.

By taking advantage of its unique position, Australia can provide low-cost, easily deployed solar PV products to the world, delivering significant economic benefits to the country.

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