Ron Shen, vice president of GoodWe, spoke recently pv magazine the company’s transition from a product supplier to a comprehensive solution supplier.
Let’s start with this year’s highlights at GoodWen Intersolar – it looks like you have a bigger booth than ever.
In fact, if you look around our booth, you’ll see that we have a comprehensive selection on the market. We are transitioning from a product supplier to a solution supplier. For example, our EcoSmart Home solution includes inverters, batteries, rooftop BIPV, and our software platform for storing residential buildings. On the commercial side, we offer new products such as string and hybrid inverters, BIPV, and develop an EMS system for general management of a commercial storage system. Basically, we offer our customers a comprehensive solution.
And you’ve also expanded into utility products over the past year…
Yes, we are focused on three main areas: residential, commercial and utility solutions. The service side is a new area for us, but we have made significant progress. We offer a variety of large and small inverters, including the GW250K-HT inverter, SCU communication box and MV station with a monitoring system, which provides customers with flexibility in data processing and system management.
Is there an area where you see the most progress in utilisation?
Europe is an area where we have seen significant progress. We have established centers of excellence globally such as India, Brazil, Germany and Spain, with local experts leading solutions commercially and technically. We have made breakthroughs in Germany, Italy, Spain and Ireland, where we have signed contracts for large projects. We also see new projects in South America and Southeast Asia.
How do you balance your vision for new products with your customers’ wishes?
Balancing our vision and our customers’ wishes is crucial. We have an annual roadmap that is in line with our vision to be a solution provider. We identify the missing elements and develop them as the next step, such as the EcoSmart Home solution. We also take customer feedback into account and work closely with them to include the desired features. We analyze each feature request to determine if it meets our goals and gives us a competitive advantage. Our expertise helps us make informed decisions and stay ahead of the market.
The industry faced supply problems during the pandemic. How have you adapted?
The pandemic brought significant challenges to the industry, including component supply and logistics. However, we have learned from these experiences and made improvements. We have entered into a strategic partnership with a top class IGBT supplier, which ensures the safety of the components. We have also qualified new suppliers and diversified our component offering through a strict inspection process. This has reduced the risks on the supply side and we have mostly recovered. Lead times for most components have returned to normal, and we strive for operational excellence throughout the supply chain.
How is GoodWe’s production capacity and product portfolio divided?
We have a production capacity of 30 GW for inverters and 2.1 GWh for batteries. We plan to expand these capacities even further, but of course we will see how the market develops and our strategy must be smart. In terms of capacity, more than 60% of our demand comes from the C&I and utility sectors, while 30-40% is residential and the small C&I sector. We have introduced an automatic inverter production line, which allows us to be more flexible and adapt to demand. We expect significant growth in the C&I and utility sectors, which may double or triple our starting position.
How does GoodWen R&D focus on current and new technologies?
R&D is our primary goal as we strive to be a solutions provider. We invest about 8% of our turnover in R&D every year, which I think is more than enough.
Our strategy includes investments in both hardware and software to drive product innovation and build our platform. We focus our R&D resources on market trends, especially in the booming C&I segment and storage solutions. We strive to remain innovative and meet the changing needs of our customers.
In our previous interview, you gave us quite accurate predictions about the global solar market. Looking back into the crystal ball, what do you expect for the global solar market in 2023? What capacity will be added?
Overall, I expect the market to continue to grow well. Although there may be occasional hiccups, the market remains strong. I expect 20-40 percent growth in the next two years. If 250GW is reached in 2022, I think 2023 will be around 300GW to 320GW. Driving factors include demand, cost-saving efforts, and advances in technology that make network parity more accessible and cost-effective than conventional resources. However, the actual growth rate is also affected by global economic conditions and installer capacity.