5 GW Solar Module Fab Plans For France

French Solar Start-Up Carbon Plans Gigafactory For TOPCon & IBC Solar Modules

5 GW Solar Module Fab Plans For France

The TOPCon and IBC solar module Gigafactory plans of Carbon are supported by research institutes focused on these technologies, namely ISC Konstanz and the Becquerel Institute. (Illustrative Photo; Photo Credit: Terelyuk/Shutterstock.com)

  • Solar start-up Carbon has announced its plans to set up a solar panel manufacturing fab in France with 5 GW annual capacity by 2025
  • The company’s plans are to get into the whole vertical integrated solar supply chain, and expand capacity to 15 GW by 2030
  • It plans to focus on TOPCon and IBC solar technologies, with future strategy including BIPV and VIPV domain as well
  • Currently, the company is working on arranging funds to execute the initial project plans

A new solar technology start-up by the name Carbon has plans to establish a ‘gigafactory’ in France by 2025, with 5 GW annual capacity of solar modules based on TOPCon & interdigitated back contact (IBC) cells, with backing from German research institute ISC Konstanz and Belgian consultancy Becquerel Institute.

According to local French media reports, Carbon’s plan is to produce the 5 GW modules by 2025 from ‘European silicon’, and expand total capacity to 15 GW from 2030 onward. Overall, its production plans aim to cover high quality, low carbon ingots, wafers, cells and modules at competitive rates.

Eventually, the start-up also aims to cater to the building and automotive market with high efficiency solar cells that can be directly integrated into the structure itself via building integrated PV (BIPV) and vehicle integrated PV (VIPV).

According to local French business magazine L’Usine nouvelle, of the total production capacity of 5 GW, 2/3rd is planned to be marketed directly to developers of PV projects and remaining sold to other manufacturers. The company estimates an initial fund raising of between €100 million and €200 million to launch production in 2023 or 2024.

Led by one of the founders of SMA France, Pascal Richard and the Founding President of Terre et Lac Group, Pierre-Emmanuel Martin, the start-up is at present looking for investors to execute the idea. On LinkedIn, Martin said the company has ‘unknowingly raised an enthusiasm that exceeds our expectations’ regarding the funding call.

The founders expect to close the initial fundraising round by the end of 2022, to be able to kickstart operations of its maiden production site from 2025 on a site that’s yet to be finalized.

While Carbon’s plans are yet to take shape, the news comes soon after the country’s President Emmanuel Macron said France will aim for 100 GW solar capacity by 2050 after having installed 14 GW till the end of December 2021 (see Cumulative French PV Capacity Now 14 GW).

On January 25, 2022, TaiyangNews held a special focus webinar on TOPCon solar technology as the natural successor to PERC that’s reaching its practical efficiency limits (see TaiyangNews Special Focus Webinar On TOPCon). Video recordings of the event can be viewed on TaiyangNews Youtube Channel.

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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