First published on JoNova; Despite green claims renewables are the cheapest form of power, renewable manufacturers are struggling to survive Europe’s soaring energy prices.

Whats Up With That –

European solar PV manufacturing at risk from soaring power prices – Rystad

By Jules Scully
October 6, 2022

Around 35GW of PV manufacturing projects in Europe are at risk of being mothballed as elevated power prices damage the continent’s efforts to build a solar supply chain, research from Rystad Energy suggests.

Audun Martinsen, Rystad Energy’s head of energy service research, said high power prices not only pose a significant threat to European decarbonisation efforts but could also result in increased reliance on overseas manufacturing.

“Building a reliable domestic low-carbon supply chain is essential if the continent is going to stick to its goals, including the REPowerEU plan, but as things stand, that is in serious jeopardy,” he added.

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Shortly after the above was published, a French solar module plant was closed;

Maxeon closes French solar module manufacturing plant

By Jules Scully
October 7, 2022

Maxeon Solar Technologies has shut down a PV module manufacturing plant in France, citing a challenging price environment.

The facility was impacted by rising costs and taxes on raw material imports, according to a Maxeon spokesperson.

“The production price of the Porcelette plant no longer allows us to be competitive on the European market,” the spokesperson said in a statement sent to PV Tech.

Located in northeastern France, the facility was inaugurated in 2012. According to press release from that year, the plant had a 44MWp production line capable of producing 150,000 solar panels annually.

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The obvious question, if renewables are so cheap, why don’t these plants relocate to a large plot of land, disconnect from the grid, and power their manufacturing facilities from their own low cost renewable energy products?

Seems an obvious solution – but for some reason renewable manufacturers seem to be choosing to shutter their plants, rather than switching to consuming their own product.

Whats Up With That