With a single country dominating polysilicon, wafer, and ingot production, key raw materials in the conventional solar supply chain, there is a need for alternative technologies to facilitate setting up PV manufacturing in other regions of the world. This is especially critical to ensure a stable solar supply chain as the world advances towards the energy transition and moves to a hydrogen economy using renewable resources.

NexWafe makes an alternative solution possible. The company’s EpiNex™ wafers enable higher efficiencies, lower costs, and reduce carbon emissions in PV manufacturing by over 70 percent when compared to the conventional Czochralski procedure in regions that rely on coal-based electricity generation. Our innovative and unique process creates the opportunity to profitably manufacture ultra-low carbon solar wafers, balancing a $10B global market with a double-digit CAGR – an exciting and innovative prospect for partnership and investment.

NexWafe has already established a strategic partnership with Reliance Industries (Reliance New Energy Solar) who is building a new solar giga factory in Jamnagar (India). Reliance has targeted installing 20GW of solar energy generation capacity by 2025, and they aim to install 100GW of solar energy generation capacity by 2030.

A project that highlights the importance of access to scalable, cost-effective wafer technology is NEOM, a sustainable city under construction in northwestern Saudi Arabia with an expected first phase completion date of 2025. NEOM’s “blueprint for tomorrow” aims to move beyond zero carbon to a circular economy using wind and solar resources to generate clean, sustainable energy and to develop new clean technologies such as green hydrogen — a significant driver of future global decarbonization. NEOM exemplifies an ideal clean and green energy infrastructure to affordably provide its residents and industries with 100 percent renewable energy at scale.

Bold projects such as these, with forward-thinking solar strategies, provide a roadmap for other energy sustainability initiatives, including those in Europe and North America.

Rebalancing the supply chain is necessary

Chemical & Engineering News reports more than three-quarters of the world’s polysilicon originates in China. Further downstream, this polysilicon is used domestically in China to create an industry that supplies 98 percent of the world’s solar wafers. This level of concentration places limitations on solar demand both because of an upward pressure on polysilicon and wafer prices and because of concerns about labor conditions in China. If one is to realize the world’s renewable energy ambitions, a rebalancing of the global solar supply chain must occur.

Rewriting the next chapter of the energy efficiency success story

For the energy transition to reach the 2050 net-zero energy goals set by the Paris Agreement, renewable energy capacity needs to increase to 630GW per year in 2030. The next step is to establish a low-cost, stable supply of solar wafers, independent of the current imbalances in the market. To lead the way, the U.S. passed the Inflation Reduction Act which allocates funds to revive polysilicon and wafer production in the U.S. and the domestic manufacturing of other solar components.

NexWafe’s development of green solar wafers can help achieve these ambitions. With a high throughput, low-cost epitaxy process that avoids the energy-intensive steps of conventional wafer manufacturing, NexWafe’s EpiNex™ wafers promise to set a new standard for the solar industry. Our ultra-thin, revolutionary solar cell technologies introduce meaningful and much-needed change to the solar supply chain, expanding the reach of solar energy and leveling the net-zero renewable-energy playing field for all countries.

Next: Epitaxy

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