As the world becomes increasingly interested in sustainability, renewable energy demand will only grow. Solar panels play an important role in this energy diversification. However, about 95% of solar panel manufacturing requires the raw material polysilicon, and Xinjiang produces approximately 45% of the world’s supply of this raw material. In May 2021, researchers at the University of Sheffield found significant levels of forced labor in the global solar supply chain, mainly dealing with polysilicon. In June 2021, President Biden signed a Withhold Release Order on a silica-based products made by forced labor in Xinjiang. Strategy Risks can help solar companies know if their upstream suppliers are connected to forced labor or harbor any sanction risk. By using a proprietary blend of open-source research and data, Strategy Risks creates a contextualized risk profile, answering the following questions:
- What countries produce polysilicon?
- Why does China, and specifically Xinjiang, produce so much polysilicon?
- Can I make my solar panels without polysilicon?
- Where are solar panels made?