A French start-up wants to create a 5 GW PV module factory – pv magazine International

Thanks to a round table that will be completed by the end of the year, the French start-up Carbon aims to open its first production site in France in 2025. photo magazine spoke with Pascal Richard, one of its founders, about the timeline for the project.

From pv magazine France

French start-up Carbon has announced plans to build a 5 GW solar panel factory in France.

Scheduled to be commissioned in 2025, the new plant should reach an annual capacity of 15 GW by 2030. The project will require a total investment of 1 billion euros. To this end, Carbon and its partners are currently looking for investors to finance the project. “We are going to carry out the first funding round at the end of the year, representing 10% of the amount of the investment”, declared Pascal Richard, former founder of SMA France and co-founder of Carbon. photo magazine. “Then, we will organize other rounds which will be open to three levels of investors: industrial strategic partners, private investment funds and regional, national and European public entities.”

The company hopes to commission a pilot site with an annual capacity of 1.5 GW in 2024. The panels will be based on TOPCon and IBC technologies. “The production lines will be designed to be scalable and integrate the different technologies without reinvestment,” explained Richard.

Eventually, the manufacturing facility will also supply the building and automotive markets with high-efficiency building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) cells.

In terms of costs, Richard assured that “everything is calculated so that the products, although of high quality, are competitive with the prices practiced by the Asian competition”, in particular thanks to economies of scale. “Without competitive pricing it is impossible to attract investment,” he added. The company intends to announce soon the official support of its first French and European investors.

According to some forecasts, the currently installed solar photovoltaic capacity in Europe of 199 GW is expected to double by 2025 and then quadruple by 2030. “The demand for photovoltaic panels will therefore continue to increase massively, reaching around 60 GW per year in 2025. then 100 GW. per year in 2030 on a European scale. However, faced with Asian competition which is driving prices down, the European photovoltaic industrial sector remains fragile and undersized. There is therefore an urgent need to act to change scale,” Carbon said in a statement.

A project with a European dimension, Carbon is supported by the international research center on solar energy ISC Konstanz in Germany, a recognized European developer of TOPCon and IBC technologies, as well as the Becquerel Institute in Belgium, with which it collaborates on technological aspects. , competitiveness and market access aspects.

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