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Solar supply chains need to be localised

The pandemic has demonstrated the downside of relying on one global centre of production and long-distance supply chains

The disruption to global solar supply chains caused by Covid-19 highlights that new, local alternatives are needed for the industry to ensure that solar remains a reliable source of power.   “Solar is China,” says Steve Hanke, chairman of the supervisory board of speciality metals and mineral products producer Advanced Metallurgical Group (AMG), which trades on the stock market in Amsterdam. “If you shut China down, solar shuts down. It is the same story  for rare earth [elements].” China dominates in the production of silicon metal, which is needed for silicon wafers used for solar panels. Only two companies in the West produce silicon wafers, and one of them, Elkem in Norway, is Chinese-

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