Copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar cells are one of three mainstream thin-film photovoltaic technologies. Since its production requires indium, there has been much debate about the shortage of this key raw material. The latest research shows that indium is abundantly available in the EU, enabling the manufacturing of thin-film solar cells and helping achieve the EU’s Green Deal agenda.
In order to meet the new 40% target for renewable energy in the “Fit for 55” legislative package, solar PV manufacturers will have to rely on a considerable amount of metals, such as indium. A number of stakeholders have voiced concerns over the availability of these materials.
However, recent research conducted by several European R&D shows that indium production in Europe is sufficient to achieve 100 GW per year in PV manufacturing, with the potential to meet Terawatt challenges in a cost effective manner. Several EU Member States can tap into indium reserves and, therefore contributing significantly to indium production.
Indium plays a key role in enabling low carbon energy solutions in the EU economy. CIGS modules lead to less greenhouse gas emissions compared to crystalline-silicon PV technologies. New generation CIGS tandem technologies also use less indium and are more efficient, in addition to being very light, flexible and ultra-thin, making them one of the stars in thin-film technology.
CIGS manufacturing helps achieve the “European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy“. PVthin welcomes this new research and calls for stakeholder collaboration to unblock the potential of CIGS manufacturing in the EU, putting the continent in a leading position to achieve climate neutrality and become an important market for solar PV manufacturing.