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US Government's Disastrous 'Green New Deal' Could Be Stifled By.... Reader 06/19/2024 (Wed) 02:12 Id: 641209 [Preview] No. 22660
US Government's Disastrous 'Green New Deal' Could Be Stifled By....

Given Janet Yellen's China trip and concerns about Their Solar industry dominance and a recent report by BOA describing said dominance. We thought it appropriate to breakdown Silver's Supply Chain contribution to the Solar Value chain, as possibly the single most important component in Solar.

Silver is pulled out of the ground. It gets refined. It gets put into solar panels. The panels get installed. This is a supply chain.

Mining > Refining > Solar Panel creation > Panel installation. Not very hard to understand.

The main difference between a value chain and a supply chain is that the supply chain deals with building the product and getting it to the consumer, while the value chain looks for ways to enhance the product's value as it moves along that supply chain.

Value chains are sufficiently complex enough to get their own focus. But it is helpful to understand that in general, as Bai reminded us, save for the assembly of panels, almost the whole supply chain in Silver is the refinement process.

China seemingly dominates most of the value-added section of their domestic production value chain ( “vertical integration” applies here) with one exception. Their Solar value-chain dominance should dispel western illusions that China is lacking in high-end technology skills for production.

Simply put: whereas China manufacturing once was relegated to the non-value portions of many supply chains, we now see not only that they dominate some value added portions, but it reveals a timeline of their progress getting there.

China is the world's largest manufacturer of photovoltaic panels [Solar Panels] and modules [Cells], with a global market share of 70%; 90% of China's photovoltaic panels and module products are exported to European and American countries. This is pretty straight forward. China makes the solar cells and subsequent panels that get shipped overseas. The main takeaway here is, China has all but absorbed this part of the chain into its industrial base.

In 2010, China did not have the production capacity for silver paste and relied entirely on imports. By 2021, China had already produced 1,934 tons of high-temperature silver paste annually, basically achieving self-sufficiency.

Japan makes Silver Powder but does not mine significant Silver. China, on the other hand mines Silver and does not make powder. China therefore sells Japan silver which in turn is processed into powder and sold back to China. They are each others customers. Geopolitical tensions being what they are, this could change rather quickly, but for now, it remains in place solidly.

To summarize: China has no self-sufficiency in this part of the supply chain... Yet.

China's silver reserves of underground resource are drying up at an accelerated rate, and it is likely to be the second country after Mexico that has exhausted its silver resource depletion. If silver mines in one of these two countries is depleted, the world's silver resources will not be able to meet the rapidly growing demands of the photovoltaic industry, EVs industry, as well as AI and flexible electronics industries.

If that happens, two things will follow. First is exploding price. Second is a halt to the industries dependent on the metal for Net-Zero energy transition.

One should assume that bullion banks such as JPMorgan have identified major scrap sources and will tap them at various price points. However, given the ambitious global plans for de-carbonization, the ability of these factors to offset the growing demand and the seemingly diminishing supply seems stretched.


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