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Local Manufacturing and Supply Chain Analysis  (PP5.3)

PP5.3: Local Manufacturing and Supply Chain Analysis

Investigators: UNSW – Nathan Chang, Marina Lunardi, Renate Egan, Richard Corkish, Jose Bilbao, CSIRO – Anthony Chesman, ANU – Andrew Blakers, Monash – Jacek Jasieniak




As nations become more dependent on PV technology for energy supply, the need for supply chain management and the opportunity for local manufacturing of PV technologies grows. The need comes from supply chain risk, the opportunity arises from the growing market size, that would support local manufacture from one or more providers.


PV pricing has benefited from economies of scale that arise from vast investments in manufacturing capacity in Asia. While this has brought price benefits it also creates a market concentration that presents a risk to energy security as we grow to become reliant on PV for our energy needs. The supply chain risk can be mitigated by diversity in supply, including from local manufacture.


The Australian market was greater than 4GW/year in both 2019 and 2020 and is expected to grow with plans for mega-scale projects in support of clean hydrogen and minerals processing. With new investments in manufacturing lines typically 500MW to 6GW, a market of 4GW is sufficient to support local manufacture at 500MW – 2GW capacity from one or more manufacturers.

This work program aims to develop models to support techno-economic analysis of local module manufacturing and supply chain risk. The analysis will include consideration of policy, ethical and social impacts such as market development, risk management, waste handling, local employment and labour rates. The models will be forward looking to consider growing demand for PV and the impact of changes in demand, materials availability, and energy rates.


Work Plan

  • Identify, model and assess supply chain risks of concentrated PV manufacturing in SE Asia. Policy question regarding supply security.

  • Model full manufacturing opportunity – for silicon refining to module assembly systems installation.

  • Model upstream benefits for input materials including glass and aluminium

  • Analyse the environmental and social impacts of having local vs international supply chain for local manufacturing of solar modules and related systems.  

  • Assess emissions, carbon and energy content to the analysis for all materials (Al, glass, encapsulant). 

  • Continuous analysis using the model of local manufacturing versus import of materials and complete modules. 

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