Académie des technologies: towards the development of industrial production of photovoltaic panels in France and in Europe


The Académie des technologies has been asked by the SGPI, the DGE and the DGRI to provide long-term support for the France 2030 plan.

Within this framework:
– Administrations can request notes on any aspect of the program.
– The Academy can propose notes on any aspect on which it thinks it is useful to express itself.

For the most part, the Academy also distributes its notes to its correspondents in the administrations and then makes them public.

In this context, the Academy of Technologies is putting online today its technical and economic note to develop the industrial production of photovoltaic panels in France and in Europe.

It was presented to the press on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, by Yves Bamberger, Vice President of the Academy of Technologies, and Jean-Pierre Chevalier, Academician, co-author of the document.

Why a note on photovoltaics ❔
✅ A major challenge in the coming years to ensure the decrease of greenhouse gas emissions is going to be to have enough low-carbon electricity for building, transport and industry without delay.
✅ Although it will not be enough to cover electricity needs, the deployment of photovoltaics can be rapid.
✅ Before 2050, the need for photovoltaic electricity will reach 3 to 4 GW/year in France.
✅ Having production in France and Europe is favorable to energy sovereignty, trade balance, employment, « low-carbon » photovoltaics.

🔎 In summary of this note:

The context
Available technologies
Key points and constraints
The situation of the European industry
European strengths and weaknesses
Recommendations at the European and national levels, particularly in France


Five recommendations at national scales, in France in particular, are formulated by the Academy of Technologies in this note:

1️⃣ The downstream part (cells, modules and panels) can be produced in several countries, with different technologies, based on silicon wafers. To be competitive, these industries must produce high efficiency cells, and therefore use the latest technologies (heterojunction and TOPCon).

2️⃣ Without waiting, it seems important to develop and industrialize tandem technologies, especially based on perovskite (they immediately increase the efficiency) without major industrial changes, associated with heterojunction or TOPCon cells. In this context, a particular attention to the projects filed during the current national and European calls for tenders seems to be necessary.

3️⃣ This also implies the development of thin-film technologies which, like perovskites, may prove decisive in the evolution of photovoltaics and European competitiveness in the longer term.

4️⃣ It is also necessary to develop, encourage and structure the post-panel value chain, i.e. manufacturers of electrical components and structures, integrators and assemblers, installers and managers of PV farms.

5️⃣ Finally, in addition to the promotion of production industries, it is necessary to maintain the R&D effort, because technologies continue to evolve and the sector is very competitive.


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