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Sun Silver (ASX:SS1) has announced its solicitation of US specialty firm Holland & Knight to enhance its application for US government funding for solar panel materials.

Silver is the most conductive metal – actually more effective than copper – and silver paste, a downstream silver product, is a crucial element in solar panels. So far, its production is dominated by China, the world’s second largest economy.

The company’s overall strategy, in turn, is to become a domestic US silver paste producer.

But to get there, it needs to successfully navigate the US government’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) grant application system.

The IRA legislation was introduced by Biden in 2023 and despite its name, is really a re-packaged version of an earlier climate-focused bill called Build Back Better, which Republicans ultimately rejected.

That’s where Holland & Knight come in – according to Sun Silver, the former is responsible for 40% of successful energy grant applications made under the IRA framework, and has won an aggregate US$400M in funding for “various” ASX-listers.

Sun Silver ED Gerard O’Donovan explained the company’s rationale in targeting US grant funding.

“The USA is currently in the midst of a perfect storm when it comes to solar energy, due to key government initiatives and policy shifts,” he said.

O’Donovan also pointed to overhead sovereign capability initiatives to boost up US domestic supply chains (read: take market share off China.)

“Sun Silver recognises a significant opportunity to contribute to the advancement of solar energy in the USA by offering a local solution for silver paste,” he added.

“This initiative will further diminish reliance on Chinese imports, which aligns with government goals.”

The company also highlighted the Biden administration’s recent move to place tariffs on Chinese solar imports up to 50% to help stimulate onshore manufacturing. At the same time, the US is targeting 30% solar energy generation “as part of its national energy mix” by 2030.

SS1 last traded at 59cps.

SS1 by the numbers
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