“Secure and Responsible Material Supply for Photovoltaics” with Estelle Gervais (PhD candidate at Leiden University)

The Circular Industries Talks are organized every second Wednesday at the Circular Industries Hub. In this edition, Estelle Gervais, PhD candidate at Leiden University expands on risks in photovoltaics, in her talk, titled: Secure and Responsible Material Supply for Photovoltaics. Curious for more? Take a look at the recording at the bottom of this page.  

“Capturing the interdependencies in global supply chains is both necessary, to assess ESG risks and the potential impacts of diversification, and possible, thanks to industrial ecology tools.”

Estelle Gervais

Photovoltaics (PV) is exposed to supply chain risks which might impede its role as a pillar of the energy transition. Although security and responsibility in sourcing practices are high on the EU political agenda, they remain to date problematic in the energy decarbonization sector. This Talk gave an overview of the work conducted jointly at Fraunhofer ISE and CML Leiden University to map the supply chain of PV materials and assess the risks related to supply concentration and Environmental, Social, and Governance issues. 

Market concentration in PV goes beyond the main silicon supply chain, it concerns key materials such as silver for cell metallization, and ingot and wafer manufacturing equipment. This translates into an exposure to supply disruptions. For instance, an export ban on Chinese wafers would impact over 60% of US PV deployment. Industrial ecology has a central role to play in better understanding interdependencies along supply chains and the magnitude of ESG risks. In particular, material flow analysis can serve as the basis for risk-based supply chain due diligence, as exemplified in this Talk for silver. It can also be combined with scenario modelling to assess the impact of diversification on risk exposure. The case of friendshoring in silicon supply chains is presented here.

Curious about the whole story? Listen to Estelle in the Circular Industries talks.

The Circular Industries talks

The goal of the Circular Industries talks is to share knowledge across Leiden, Delft and Erasmus and to complement and deepen the knowledge already available within the Circular Industries Hub. The talks are organized on Wednesday morning from 10:00 to 11:00. The talks are online (Microsoft Teams).