Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t Martin; According to the Guardian, silicon sourced from suspected slave labour in Xinjiang was used to manufacture solar panels in 40% of Britain’s solar farms.
Revealed: UK solar projects using panels from firms linked to Xinjiang forced labour
Investigation finds up to 40% of UK solar farms were built using panels from leading Chinese companies
Solar projects commissioned by the Ministry of Defence, the government’s Coal Authority, United Utilities and some of the UK’s biggest renewable energy developers are using panels made by Chinese solar companies accused of exploiting forced labour camps in Xinjiang province, a Guardian investigation has found.
Confidential industry data suggests that up to 40% of the UK’s solar farms were built using panels manufactured by China’s biggest solar panel companies, including Jinko Solar, JA Solar and Trina Solar.
These firms have been named in a recent report on the internment of more than 1 million men and women from the Muslim Uyghur community, in what UK MPs on Thursday voted to describe as genocide.
Companies with factories or major suppliers in Xinjiang produce about a third of the polysilicon material used to make the world’s solar panels, according to a detailed report by the US consultancy Horizon Advisory. China is the world leader in polysilicon production.
The report found that Chinese solar companies had ties to indicators of forced labour in Xinjiang, where Uyghur are interned, via this polysilicon production.
Chris Hewett, chief executive of Solar Energy UK, a lobby group, said: “This is a matter that UK solar energy industry members are treating with the utmost seriousness.” He said making global supply chains “as transparent and sustainable as possible” brought a “significant degree of complexity”.
Hewett said the UK solar industry was working with international trade bodies to develop a “traceability protocol” to safeguard the global supply chain from human rights abuses.
I’m sure the USA is in a similar situation – the allegedly tainted companies which supplied solar panels to Britain also supply solar panels to the USA.