Securing the supply chain for wind and solar energy (RE-supply)


E4tech & Avalon Consulting



Main Geographic Focus: 


RE&EE Category Taxonomy: 

  • Photovoltaic
  • Wind Power

File Tag: 

  • Market analysis



Renewable energy offers numerous potential benefits and increasing efforts are devoted to supporting its deployment. However, constraints along the supply chain may prevent deployment at the rate required to meet global energy and climate objectives. This study sets out to identify current and potential bottlenecks in the supply chains for wind and solar photovoltaics (PV), to inform decision makers about the steps needed to avoid these, enabling global deployment targets to be met.  Overall the study finds that the supply chains of both wind and PV are currently likely to be constrained by a range of bottlenecks that may critically impact the deployment of these technologies. Many of these bottlenecks are related to supply‐demand imbalances (supply not being able to ramp‐up at the same rate as fast‐increasing demand), while some are due to absolute constraints on materials, and some to regulation. While many of these bottlenecks are expected to be felt after 2015, some are already affecting the wind and PV sectors today. In spite of this negative assessment, there are grounds for optimism. The impact and likelihood of almost all of the bottlenecks identified can be reduced significantly, if not eliminated, by mitigating activities at policy and industry level. Most supply‐demand imbalances can be mitigated by robust long term frameworks that secure demand, and many constraints on raw materials can be resolved by switching to alternative more abundant materials. In many cases the problems are well understood and mitigation is being pursued, although these preventive actions would benefit from more coordination. In other cases the problems have yet to be addressed and this report sets out where resources need to be applied, in some cases very soon.

Document Language: