According to the latest report by BRGM, although silicon is an abundant chemical element on Earth, assessing the criticality of silicon is not that easy and the purification stages of the industry value chain should be considered as strategic industries in France and Europe.
The main takeaways of the report are:
- We need to take into account the end market and the processes involved to purify silicon. It’s especially true for the ultra-pure silicon used in the photovoltaic and the electronic industries.
- China is becoming a monopolistic actor in this market.
- Europe should seriously consider the strategic risks associated with silicon (commercial availability, industrial know-how, etc.).
- Europe could loose some sovereignty if we do not strengthen our material supply through primary resources (mining) and secondary resources (reuse and recycle).
ROSI Solar is quoted as a technology provider for polysilicon recycling.
(report in French)
BRGM, the French geological survey, is France’s reference public institution for Earth Science applications in the management of surface and subsurface resources and risks.