One of the world’s leading solar developers, EDP, has highlighted the importance of diversifying supply chains for renewable energy. The company experienced delays in shipping solar panels from China to the US, leading to a need to “de-risk” supply chains in order to advance the adoption of cleaner energy. Concerns have been raised about the dependence on China for solar power, as Chinese companies dominate the production of polysilicon, the main raw material for solar panels. The concentration of production in Xinjiang, where human rights abuses have been reported, adds to the concerns. EDP had to delay the development of US solar farms due to delays in importing products from a Chinese supplier. In response, the company has started sourcing from suppliers in South Korea, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The disruptions in the import of solar panels to the US began after the implementation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which bans the import of products linked to Xinjiang unless they are proven to be free from forced labor. EDP plans to install more than 4GW of renewables per year until 2026 and is actively investing in the US solar market. The company is also involved in an offshore wind farm in Scotland. Rising costs in the renewable energy industry have led to challenges in attracting offshore wind developers, highlighting the need for higher energy prices or adjustments in government auctions.
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