The Future of Solar Fabrication: Emerging Trends to Watch

Highlights :

In this authored artivle, Manasvi Goyal, Director – International Growth, Zoglix (A Moglix Company), writes on the emerging trends in solar supply chains.

The Future of Solar Fabrication: Emerging Trends to Watch

As the world grapples with the consequences of climate change and transitions to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources, solar energy remains as a bright beacon of hope in the renewable energy landscape. Solar power accounts for 4.5% of the world’s electricity and is the third largest renewable electricity technology, behind hydropower and wind. However, the future of solar energy is not solely determined by advancements in photovoltaic technology or the capacity of solar panels. The efficiency, sustainability, and reliability of solar fabrication through supply chain solutions play a pivotal role in the growth of solar energy. It must go hand-in-hand with technological advancements in the field.

Emerging Trends in Solar Fabrication

The solar fabrication industry is witnessing a transformative wave of emerging trends, promising a sustainable and efficient future. Some of them are:

  1. Flexible thin-film solar panels: The days of bulky panels atop rows of houses and clunky infrastructure required to set up viable solar parks are over. Flexible thin-film solar panels that can be stuck anywhere from a window to a remote-controlled vehicle are gaining traction. This offers versatility and integration opportunities on various surfaces. These innovations open up new possibilities for solar installations in unconventional locations. While this technology struggles to compete with traditional panels in terms of efficiency and price right now, the rapid pace of tech advancements indicates that flexible panels will surpass rigid panels on both parameters in the near future.
  2. Shift towards localized production: Solar fabrication is witnessing a shift towards localized production. By reducing transportation costs and emissions associated with long-distance shipping, localized facilities improve the environmental footprint of solar panel production. This trend aligns with community solar projects, where neighborhoods collectively invest in solar installations. These initiatives empower communities to harness solar energy locally and strengthen their energy security. Individuals get access to clean and renewable energy while receiving credits on their electricity bills at the same time. Such community projects are being led by developed nations such as the United States where 43 out of 50 states have a registered community solar initiative.
  3. Research and development of new materials: To improve the efficiency of solar power further, the industry is actively engaged in research and development of new materials for solar panels. Perovskite Solar Cells (PSCs) are the latest area of research because of their high power conversion efficiency. They are less expensive to produce than silicon solar cells and can be fabricated using a simple wet chemical process. More research is needed to enable large-scale viability, but there are highly promising signs.

The Impact on Procurement and Supply Chain

The rising trend of localized production facilities necessitates adaptations in procurement strategies. Solar manufacturers are rethinking their supply chain to support decentralization. This includes establishing relationships with local suppliers and logistics providers. Strategies for supporting community solar projects are also being developed, ensuring that materials are readily available for small-scale installations.

At the same time, procurement of advanced solar materials remains paramount to the success of the solar fabrication industry. Manufacturers are focusing on sourcing high-quality materials to ensure the longevity and performance of solar panels. Sustainable and ethical sourcing practices are taking center stage. Solar companies are embracing circular economy principles by increasingly investing in recycling and end-of-life management solutions for solar panels. This helps ensure that solar devices have a minimal impact on the environment throughout their life cycle. For example, US-based First Solar recovers and reuses more than 90% of the materials it uses for making solar panels for secondary uses in the solar energy ecosystem.

A new facet of solar supply chain and procurement is rapid digitalization. IoT devices can now track the movement of materials, monitor equipment performance, and identify potential bottlenecks in the production process. Data-driven decision-making in procurement optimizes the flow of materials and supports the timely acquisition of critical components. Such devices can also be used to monitor the amount of energy being generated by solar panels as well as their energy consumption patterns. This can help ensure energy is being utilized efficiently and facilitate the transfer of excess energy back to the grid, resulting in reduced energy wastage and novel revenue generation opportunities.


As the world continues to prioritize a sustainable future, solar fabrication must pave the way for efficient and practical solar energy solutions. The adoption of advanced materials, sustainable sourcing, localization, and digital monitoring are all integral to advancing the solar energy industry. By embracing the latest innovations and sustainability practices, the solar industry can play a key role in our collective efforts to combat climate change and secure a brighter future for generations to come.

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