Iván Reyes
Mexico Country Manager
LONGI Solar
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View from the Top

Efficiency as Core Strategy

By MBN Staff | Thu, 04/23/2020 - 11:59

Q: What is LONGI Solar's most important achievement in Mexico?

A: Longi entered the Mexican market three years ago and since then, we have installed more than 800MW. Of those projects, more than 200MW use bifacial technology, which Longi introduced to the Mexican market. In the distributed generation segment, we have about 60MW in rooftop projects across the country.

We continue to drive high-efficiency technology, and it is important to note that polycrystalline technology is losing market share. All large-scale projects now use monocrystalline technology. Our goal is to continue as the main promoter of this technology.

Q: What factors are needed to replicate success stories?

A: The legal framework is essential. We need the government to be clear about its energy policies. International energy policies concerning renewables have been clearly established, so we have been surprised by the series of modifications the current administration has implemented to governmental regulation related to renewables. Mexico has tremendous solar energy potential and has developed a productive sector with integral experience in development and project implementation. These breakthroughs could go to waste due to the modifications introduced to the legal framework.

We require an energy policy that favors renewables.  The market wants clear policies that will facilitate the use of these technologies and in turn, spur greater development for the country.

Q: What is Longi’s strategy to reach its growth target?

A: Sales outside of China are increasing. We estimate sales outside China to range between 60 and 70 percent. This implies that wafer technology expansion will reach a capacity of 110GW by 2021. The company is 100 percent committed to integrating monocrystalline technology and to share the benefits related to efficiency. The strategy is to combine high efficiency with competitive costs.

In the specific case of Mexico, the challenges relate to the political landscape. At one point, there was a notion that the country would become a leader in solar energy in Latin America. This notion has been fading away due to the detrimental changes in regulations.

In Europe, renewable energy generation is making a comeback. Similarly, large-scale projects and new tenders are being implemented in the Middle East. The demand for solar energy worldwide continues to grow, which is why Longi is focused on expanding its market share. Although the company mainly focuses on utility scale, we are also developing our distributed generation segment. There is great demand in Mexico for distributed generation projects. An initiative that has been presented to Congress seeks to increase the maximum installed capacity. If approved, this initiative is expected to boost the development of the distributed generation market. There are many untapped business opportunities in Mexico in the solar energy sector and Longi seeks to take advantage of all this potential.

Q: What is Longi’s added value for its clients and alliances?

A: Longi is focused on a single technology and our goal is to provide high-quality modules that lower energy costs. All the materials needed to manufacture a module may boost costs but degrees of degradation are mitigated, generating greater energy in the long term.

For Longi, it is important to partner with development companies that have long-term project. These companies see the benefit of partnering with us due to the energy savings we provide. We can enter strategic alliances and seal long-term contracts for large-scale projects because our technology helps to make power plants more efficient.

We have technological alliances with suppliers of both raw materials and machinery geared to improving production. In addition, we have worked with a variety of EPC companies and have obtained great results regarding the technology and services we provide.

Q: What are the specific actions that Longi is taking to achieve greater market share?

A: Longi invests heavily in R&D. We continue to break efficiency records by achieving improvements in technology efficiency. There is a great appetite for high-power modules: however, increasing the size of the modules does not result in greater power. We care most about providing greater efficiency. This means being able to produce more energy that requires lesser space. Longi continues to position itself as a leader in technological innovations in order to gain efficiency and lower energy production costs.

We also need to remember that although bifacial module technology is the most in-demand for utility projects in the Mexican market, monofacial technology continues to attract demand, so we need to keep all our products available.

Regarding the size of the modules, Longi is betting on the 166mm wafer. The company has sufficient production capacity to supply more than 40 percent of the world’s solar panels. As production leaders, our technology sets the standard for other solar panel manufacturers globally.

Q: In terms of growth, what are Longi´s expectations for this year?

A: We are waiting for political certainty regarding investment and operations related to renewable energy projects. We have three projects with large-scale PPAs that are already finishing the contract phase and that are expected to start commercial operations next year. Energy demand is increasing and it is important to have adequate communication with the government to clarify the terms required for the development of these types of projects. Renewable energy is necessary for the development of the country and it is important to achieve political and economic stability. Longi is convinced that Mexico´s market has a great deal of potential and we will continue to be part of its development.

LONGi leads the solar PV industry with product innovations and optimizing power-cost ratios with breakthrough monocrystalline technologies. LONGi supplies more than 30GW of high-efficiency solar wafers and modules worldwide.

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