Silver demand in the solar industry will fall slightly this year but remain near recent record high levels, according to industry body the Silver Institute’s 2020 outlook.
Demand for the precious metal across all industries is expected to rise 3% thanks to the electrical and electronics sectors, as well as the automotive market. “Silver use in 5G-infrastructure and upcoming intelligent electronics is also likely to fuel demand gains,” analysts at the trade body wrote.
The U.S.-based industry association said silver consumption is being reduced by solar manufacturers through technological advances which require less use of the precious metal for conductive silver paste on the front and rear of most PV cells.
The analysts said the general outlook for the PV sector in 2020 appeared mixed but “ongoing government support for renewables to counter climate change and falling prices for finished PV modules should boost global PV installations”.