With green energy becoming more popular as our path to a brighter future, the need for a revamped supply chain in the solar industry is abundantly clear.
According to Samik Mukherjee, global demand for solar energy supplies has increased, causing an increase in the necessity of supply chain upgrades and changes to meet that demand. Efforts toward this goal can include the creation of what’s called “gigafactories,” as well as diversifying the supply chain itself.
In this article an overview of the current use of the solar industry’s supply chain is reviewed, taking a deeper look into how it is changing to meet the aforementioned increase in demand. By the conclusion, the need for a supply chain overhaul in the solar industry should be clear as well as urgent.
Understanding the Problem
Understanding the problem is often the first step towards a solution. However, with something as vast to consider as a supply chain for a globally important market, in addition to how the ever-evolving factor of technology plays a part, it can be nothing short of overwhelming to accomplish this goal.
With that being said, there are three main factors that determine the reasons for the changes within the supply chain. Currently, the supply chain is localized to China, there is a lack of balance in parts and materials, and lastly, the awareness of the problem is relatively low.
• Localized to China
Currently, though the entire world is realizing the efficiency and the ethics behind using solar energy compared to other sources, only China is creating solar hubs in high concentration. This is an issue, because countries like the United Kingdom and the United States are actually the ones in position to take the greatest strides – if only they had the same high concentration.
Both governments and private investors are working toward creating solar complexes and manufacturing stations in their respective countries, taking the uneven focus off China.
• Lack of Balance in Parts and Materials
Supplies like cells and wafers may be easy to get ahold of for many looking to manufacture within the solar industry. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the all-important factors like polysilicon, without which the manufacturing of solar panels could not be possible.
This is because prices are raised when the supply chains back up. Fortunately, raw material supply is being diversified as the ethical issues of unfair labor and other harmful extractions toward the environment are resolved.
• Awareness of the Problem is Low
Finally, though it may seem like a small factor, however much the consumer knows about the way their solar panels are made is critically important to the smooth running of the supply chain. The more people understand how environmentally responsible and useful solar energy is, the more they will demand solar industry products.
The greater the demand, the more the supplies will be needed, and the more urgent resolving problems like a lack of balance will become.
The supply chain for the solar industry must be overhauled. Currently, the main problem is that all of the processes of production and distribution is scattered around the globe in small parts, with the largest concentration in China alone. Additionally, there is very poor balance when it comes to the manufacturing of materials and parts.
Finally, it is important to note that the more consumers understand about solar energy, the higher the demand for the solar products, in turn, urgency will be placed on the powers that be to resolve issues in the supply chain.
Witness the winds of change as efforts on both legislative and awareness-boosting fronts converge to rectify this pressing problem. It is only a matter of time before the dire necessity for a revitalized supply chain in the solar industry becomes indisputably evident, igniting an unstoppable momentum towards a comprehensive solution. Get ready for the imminent transformation that lies on the horizon, driven by the mounting pressure to reshape the future of solar energy.