Silver remains critical to solar market, but demand may have peaked in 2019 – by Mariaan Webb ( – June 9, 2020)

Aslow decline in silver demand from photovoltaic (PV) cells is forecast for the next several years, but solar generation capacity growth in China, Europe and North America over the next decade, will keep silver demand at elevated levels.

This is according to a new report, which London-based consultancy CRU produced on behalf of the Silver Institute.

CRU reports that from 2020 to 2030, the PV sector is expected to consume a cumulative 888-million ounces of silver, or about 81-million ounces a year. This is lower than the 100-million ounces of silver, or about 11% of total silver fabrication demand, that was used in the production of PV cells in 2019.

The report notes that demand may have peaked at 100-million ounces last year.

“We forecast a slow decline in silver demand from 2020 to 2023 as PV capacity added per year dips, while attempts at silver thrifting in PV panels continues at a diminished rate,” CRU states, adding that between 2024 and 2030, the rate of silver thrifting will slow further, while PV capacity additions will increase slightly.

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