Australia’s climatic conditions provide natural advantages for the development of the solar industry. The average sunlight here is 7-8 hours per day, and annual solar irradiation can reach 58 million petajoules. There are interlinking factors that are driving increasing numbers of Australians to install solar power systems on their roofs.
A combination of the increasing environmental awareness of the Australian public, the reduction in power generation costs brought about by innovations in solar power technology, and the government’s clean energy subsidy policies.
Australia is one of the most mature solar markets in the world, the progress of the industry inextricably linked to the commitment of all the country’s solar companies.
One Stop Warehouse (OSW) has developed a system to effectively distribute solar equipment produced by global photovoltaic manufacturers and, with rapid growth is now one of the country’s largest distributors. In 2018 and 2019, Listed as one of the top 200 fastest-growing companies in Asia Pacific, and one of Australia’s top 200 private companies its business development with companies such as LONGi has helped create this success.
A One Stop Warehouse Facility
A Guide To The Australian Market
The relationship between OSW and LONGi can be traced back to 2017. Andy Cheng, OSW Chief Marketing Director, explains that for many years OSW sold mainly polycrystalline modules. In 2017, OSW re-assessed the PV market, discovering that monocrystalline technology was about to become the mainstream and, of the players in that sector, LONGi was a clear leader in the market.
In 2018, OSW and LONGi officially agreed to product procurement cooperation, initiating steady collaboration between the two parties, with OSW assisting LONGi with the distribution of its residential and C&I rooftop products in Australia. During the first two years of the arrangement, LONGi supplied more than 200MW of photovoltaic modules to OSW, of which 80% were for residential and 20% for commercial use.
Zane Zhou (left), Betty Li (right) of LONGi’s Australian team and Andy Cheng (center), Marketing Director of One Stop Warehouse
The ratio of polycrystalline to monocrystalline modules was about 9:1 in Australia in 2013-2017. However, monocrystalline products accounted for 30% of the Australian market in 2018Q4, rising to 50% in 2019. By the end of 2020Q1, the share of monocrystalline products in the Australian market had grown to 80%.
To further develop the Australian market, LONGi Australia was officially established in Sydney in 2019, with a local team focused on serving its Australian customers and supporting OSW in developing its business.
An Efficient Partnership
In August 2018, the Victorian government allocated AUD 1.24 billion to launch a solar panel rebate scheme, through which the government would pay half the money to help households in the state install a set of rooftop solar panels. However, just after OSW had completed a detailed stock plan in early 2019, the state government announced that the rebate quota was filled and all new applications were halted.
The news was undoubtedly a heavy blow to the entire Australian photovoltaic market, resulting in an imbalance in the local solar product supply and demand chain, while also having some impact on OSW. Leaving approximately AUD 2 million worth of modules in its warehouse that became unsalable inventory after losing the Victorian market.
This action motivated, marketing staff from LONGi headquarters to travel to Australia, and conduct research and analysis on the market situation with consultation from OSW. Together they created a series of joint promotional activities to encourage end customers and installers to learn more about the advantages of LONGi products and utilised OSW National distribution channels to make the product readily available.
The results were very positive, and the initiative generated a sell-out of inventory within two months. It also created many new loyal customers to the LONGi brand, and we believe this has laid the foundations for LONGi’s subsequent growth in Australia.
Highly Acclaimed Products
LONGi’s Hi-MO3 and Hi-MO4 modules, which combine the characteristics of the black frame, PERC low degradation and half-cell technology, have been driving demand in the Australian market since January 2019, with LONGi adding to its portfolio with the 2019 release of the Hi-MO X shingled module. In April 2020, LONGi is also launching an efficient and upgraded version of the Hi-MO4 module, maintaining a leading edge in mass production power and production capacity.
LONGi modules arrived at One Stop Warehouse
A Win-Win Future
As the world’s leading solar technology company, LONGi is recognised as the most valuable in the industry and the largest solar company in the world by market capitalisation. For OSW, LONGi’s corporate financial health and production capacity have been a key to the success of the partnership. From monocrystalline PERC, low degradation and bifacial technology to the 166mm trend-setting size standard, LONGi products have always been a solid foundation for the development of the industry.
Concerning the Australian photovoltaic market in 2020, Andy Cheng believes that, as a distributor covering the whole of Australia, OSW positions itself above others due to its one-stop brand integration and high value-added service model. With the impact of this year’s pandemic still to be gauged, the prediction is, that solar in 2020 is counting on Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales as its primary growth engines.
The future development of the Australian solar market still looks bright, and OSW hopes that the Australian government continues to step up its efforts to promote the development of solar power. We expect to strengthen our work with LONGi to expand the market further and achieve a win-win development for both the economy and environmental protection.