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Silver to be Critical to Solar Power
Generation Market Over Next 10 Years

One of the most significant industrial applications for silver today is its use in photovoltaic (PV) cells, the building blocks of solar panels, and a leading clean-energy technology. The cost of electricity generation from PV has rapidly declined over the past decade and is in many instances close to or below the cost of power generated by burning fossil fuels. With solar power generation expected to nearly double by 2025, this sector is projected to remain an important and consistent source of industrial demand for silver over the next ten years, while underscoring silver’s role as a green metal.

To explore silver’s role in the global solar power market in greater detail, the Silver Institute released a Market Trend Report, Silver’s Important Role in Solar Power, produced on its behalf by CRU Consulting (CRU), the respected London-based metals consultancy. The report examines trends in solar power generation and provides regional perspectives on future demand for solar installations. Growth in solar power capacity over the next decade is expected to be led by China, according to the report, followed by Europe, North America, developed Asian countries and India.

The report maintains that a combination of global efforts to reduce fossil fuel reliance, legislation to lower carbon emissions, and favorable government tax policies, should result in a continued expansion of solar panel installations over the next decade.

For example, policies in California today mandate that new residential homes be built to include a solar electricity system. Solar power is also a competitive option for power generation at industrial sites, particularly in remote locations with favorable conditions, such as mine sites in South Africa, Chile, and Western Australia, providing further upside for silver and solar demand.

Importantly, with silver possessing the lowest electrical resistance among all metals at standard temperatures, potential substitute metals cannot match silver in terms of energy output per solar panel. Further, due to technical hurdles, non-silver PVs tend to be less reliable and have shorter lifespans, presenting serious issues for their widespread commercial development.

CRU expects silver demand in PV to remain at elevated levels over the coming decade. From 2020 through 2030, the PV sector is expected to consume a cumulative 888 Moz of silver; equivalent to an average of 81 Moz per year.

To download a copy of the report, click here.

One of the primary missions of the Silver Institute is to provide the global market with reliable statistics and information on silver. It’s annual World Silver Survey (see on this website) serves as a trusted reference report by market participants for statistics and narrative on the major segments of the silver market.

For more information on silver and the Silver Institute, please visit www.silverinstutute.org.

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