Thomas Haering, President of GoodWe EMEA, spoke pv magazine about the company’s European market growth and milestones, next expansion goals, all-in solutions and much more.
pv-lehti: Since 70% of GoodWe’s turnover comes from abroad, can you give an update on the company’s results in the European market? Do you have any significant milestones you would like to highlight?
Thomas Haering: GoodWe started operations in Europe with a local team before 2018. Initially, our footprint was limited to countries like the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Spain, but gradually we built our business and brand awareness. In 2021, we experienced a breakthrough in the European market, especially in Germany, which was challenging at first. European operations have become GoodWe’s largest business area, and we reached another milestone in 2022 by expanding our presence in the Ground mount Project business. We established a new competence center mainly in Spain and increased significant sales of high-end EPC equipment in several countries.
Germany, Spain, the Netherlands – you are pretty much rooted in these places. Where is GoodWe next?
Haering: We are taking a sustainable approach when expanding into new markets. Instead of jumping in based on incentives and exiting after a short time, we prioritize long-term investment and building the right local teams for pre-sales, sales, marketing and after-sales. We seek opportunities in strategic European markets and also focus on areas such as South Africa, Central Africa, East Africa (Kenya) and the Middle East, which is a growth market for us.
How has GoodWe positioned itself in the solar energy sector in the European market? What unique advantages do you bring to it?
Haering: We are focusing on building a sustainable and strong foundation for our business in Europe. We invest in all areas, including pre-sales, sales, after-sales services, finance, HR, marketing, supply chain and legal structures. We have five subsidiaries in Europe, managed locally by teams with a deep understanding of the local culture, language and customer needs. This localization sets us apart from many other manufacturers, and we prioritize technical expertise and market analysis to ensure success. GoodWe also places a strong emphasis on sustainable development and collaborates with institutions to continuously develop our sustainable development practices.
What are the latest technological advances and product developments that your company has implemented to meet the needs of the European market?
Haering: GoodWe aims to be a comprehensive solutions provider that offers products for both residential and commercial sectors. For residential construction we have our EcoSmart Home solution, while for commercial and industrial sectors we offer EcoSmart Commercial. We have invested heavily in energy storage solutions due to the growing demand of the European market. Our monitoring system plays a key role, as it offers sophisticated monitoring and acts as an umbrella for our product range.
GoodWe is known for its hybrid inverters and energy storage solutions. What role do you see energy storage playing in the European market? How does GoodWe utilize the advantages of its products and solutions for its customers in terms of network sustainability and maximizing own consumption?
Haering: The importance of energy storage is growing in the European market, as several countries are moving from grid markets to storage markets. GoodWe offers a strong selection of storage solutions, especially with our EcoSmart Home product line. These products are designed to work seamlessly together, offering customers peace of mind, network flexibility and the ability to maximize self-consumption. Our comprehensive solution ensures compatibility and meets network requirements.
How do you see the solar industry developing in the European market in 2023? What are GoodWe’s current opportunities and challenges in the market?
Haering: The solar industry experienced a lot of hype in 2022, and energy autonomy was strongly demanded. However, 2023 has had a sobering effect as market conditions have changed in several countries, including Germany. There is a bit of fear in the market right now, but we believe this is temporary. We expect the outlook to return to the original growth trajectory, as we are still committed to creating a sustainable future. Despite challenges such as overstocking, reduced reserves and lower prices in some areas, we must work hard to build a planet worth living on. Proactive measures are crucial in creating a stronger market in the long run, even if there is a short downturn.