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Silver Has An Essential Role in Solar Energy

October 6, 2023
x min read

Solar energy is on the rise. And that means the demand for silver is too.

What’s happening:

How it works:

  • Photovoltaic cells, which are often referred to simply as solar cells, are the technology in solar panels that converts sunlight directly into electricity
  • A critical metal for constructing photovoltaic cells is silver
  • Silver is turned into a paste which then is loaded onto a silicon wafer to be used in photovoltaic cells
  • When sunlight hits a solar panel that sets electrons free and silver acts as a conductor to transfer the generated electricity to either be stored or consumed

By the numbers:

  • Solar energy is currently responsible for 14% of the global demand for silver
  • A decade ago solar was only responsible for about 5% of global demand for silver
  • This year alone solar companies are expected to consume about 161M ounces of silver

The fine print:

  • Because solar companies don’t want to be beholden to the future upward price fluctuations of silver, many new solar panel manufacturers are trying to figure out innovative new designs to reduce their need for the precious metal

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