PV industry demand for silver could rise by 20% this year

Demand for silver in the photovoltaic industry hit 193.5 million ounces in 2023, according to the Silver Institute. It predicts that demand will grow by another 20% in 2024.

Demand for silver in the PV industry increased by 64% from 118.1 million ounces (Moz) in 2022 to 193.5 Moz in 2023, according to the World Silver Survey 2024, which was recently published by the Silver Institute

The report forecasts the demand could increase a further 20% this year, reaching 232 Moz.

Total silver demand fell by 7% last year, from 1,278.9 Moz in 2022 to 1,195.0 Moz in 2023. Silver Institute expects it to rise again in 2024, by 2% to 1,219.1 Moz.

Despite the decrease in demand in 2023, the report said that for the third year in a row, silver demand massively exceeded supply. Silver Institute recorded a deficit of 184.3 Moz, which is 30% less than last year’s likely all-time-high.

“It was still one of the largest figures on record,” said the Silver Institute. “Crucially, last year’s deficit coincided with a year in which we experienced sharp declines in bar and coin investment, jewelry and silverware demand that meant global silver offtake fell overall year-on-year. The silver market’s deficit conditions have so far been resilient to pressures from the weaker price elastic elements of demand.”

Silver demand across all industrial use rose by 11% to 654.4 Moz in 2023, which is a record high. The report said “this was mainly due to the structural gains from green economy applications, particularly in the PV sector.”

“It was PV’s capacity additions, well above expectations and accelerated adoption of new generation cells, that helped drive the significant growth of 20% for electronics & electrical demand,” the report said, adding that overall industrial demand for silver is expected to grow by 9% in 2024, reaching 710.9 Moz.

Silver Institute Chair Philips S. Baker Jr. wrote in the report’s introduction that solar is one of the fastest growing uses of silver in the world. “Silver is an essential and critical metal for the future, especially in green energy applications,” he said.

The average price for silver stood at $23.35 per ounce in 2023, up from $21.73 per ounce in 2022.

This post appeared first on PV Magazine.

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