Europe and especially Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus should bet much more on 24-hour manageable Concentrated Solar Power or solar thermal and not so much on photovoltaics imported from China. We are replacing Russia with China.
Concentrating Solar Power, CSP or Solar thermal energy would today be less expensive than photovoltaic if much more had been installed than the current figures, which were dilapidated by its myopia that led us to depend on natural gas from Russia.
China is the largest supplier of equipment for the solar photovoltaic industry in Germany, with 87% of all imported systems in 2022 coming from the People’s Republic of China, the Federal Statistical Office Destatis said on Wednesday.
Last year, Germany imported around €3.6bn worth of solar cells, solar modules and other equipment for the solar PV industry, with imports from China accounting for just over €3.1bn of the total.
The second most important country of origin was the Netherlands with imports worth only 143 million euros.
The value of imports of solar energy equipment in Germany in 2022 was more than double the value of the country’s exports. Exports of solar cells, solar modules and the like amounted to €1.4 billion, with Austria being the largest market with a 14% share, followed by the Netherlands and Italy each with 11%.
Destatis noted that the production of solar modules in Germany has increased significantly in recent years. From January to September 2022, some 2.9 million solar modules were produced in the largest economy in Europe, 44% more than a year earlier and 75% more than in the same period of 2019, the year before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The production of solar collectors used in solar thermal plants stagnated at 202,000 units in the first nine months of 2022, compared to 200,000 the previous year.