Grid parity, resilient networks and strategic partnerships have spurred growth in the world’s solar panel manufacturing capacity in recent years, to 330 gigawatts (GW) in mid-2021. A Rystad Energy analysis reveals that to meet the 1.5°C 2050 scenario under the Paris Agreement, capacity has to quadruple to 1,200-1,400 GW by 2035 to handle the peak installations needed. This will be a challenging task, however, as manufacturers now see their utilization plummet due to rising costs and Covid-19 – a turn of events that could discourage the investments needed to expand capacity further. The aggregated utilization rate for solar modules (the difference between manufacturing capacity and shipments) was 84% in 2018 and has been decreasing since, to 71% in 2019 and to 58% in 2020, when logistics efficiency and transportation was hampered by the pandemic in most parts of the world. The spread of Covid-19 has created a major economic […]