LONGi has made significant impact in the Netherlands since first entering the Dutch marketin 2018. In 2019, its business grew sevenfold compared with the previous year, placing it in the country’s top five players. By end of 2020, LONGi business in the Netherlands had increased by an impressive tenfold. This significant development comes largely as a result of the company’s cooperation with Netherland’s leading distributors -BayWa, Natec and Solarclarity - relationships built from 2018.
Over recentyears, LONGi has become the benchmark for product transformation and LCOEoptimization in the global PV industry due to its breakthrough monocrystallinetechnologies. As of the end of2020, the company’s production capacity for monocrystalline modules had reachedover 30 GW. LONGi is rated the world’s most valuable solar technology company.
Why the Netherlands?
At theend of May 2018, China’s “531” policy was announced, effectively halting thecountry’s fast-developing PV market in its tracks. LONGi, foreseeing a rise inglobal PV demand, immediately made moves to accelerate its activities inoverseas PV markets and restructured its business units and market regions accordingly.
As partof this strategy, LONGi made its first venture into the Dutch market and forgedpartnerships with the country’s biggest distributors. At the same time, thecompany made rapid progress in cooperating with developers in the distributedand ground-mounted EPC segments, participating in multiple projects.
As of theend of 2020, LONGi’s market share in the Netherlands stands at a remarkable20%. The Dutch market is typically dominated by distributed generation and,with increasing annual demand of 2.5~3 GW, it has a mature structure and ranksamong the top five markets in Europe. The Netherlands is an indispensable partof LONGi’s presence in Europe, underlined by housing its European warehousing centerin Rotterdam, home of Europe’s largest seaport.
Accordingto Dennis She, LONGi Senior Vice President, "by maximizing itsgeographical advantages, the branch in the Netherlands will develop into alogistics center, therefore becoming a key pillar of LONGi's business in Europe."Mr. She went on to say that localization of operation is a key principle andpolicy for LONGi to expand its global presence, with the branch in theNetherlands aiming to provide seamless service for its customers through localhiring of logistics, finance and sales staff. The Netherlands had, hecontinued, seen rapid growth in large ground and distributed PV power stationsin 2020 and this would continue in 2021. The innovative water-based PV model hadalso attracted growing interest in the form of floating PV power stations.
Inaddition to its significant investment in the Netherlands, LONGi has branchesor local sales teams in Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK, underlining theimportance of Europe to the company’s global ambitions. Mr. She pointed outthat LONGi has already developed a comprehensive presence in European marketsand done well in both distributed and ground-mounted segments, with data fromseveral third-party agencies suggesting that the size of the European marketwill continue to grow over the next five years.
‘No secrets in Solar’
"Thereare no secrets in solar. It is about leadership, people, technologyadvancement, insightful understanding of each market, having best-in-classproducts that deliver the highest power, reliability and value and being closeto our customers and partners," added She.
Over thepast few years, LONGi has redoubled its commitment to innovation in technologyand product R&D in order to deliver more modules with lower electricitycosts and more efficient power generation. During the same period, the companyhas launched a series of increasingly efficient and reliable products globally.Their low attenuation, excellent power generation and low BOS costs make LONGiproducts a success in global markets, favoured by customers.
LONGi iscurrently the only AAA-rated module supplier in PV Tech’s ModuleTechBankability rankings; it has won the "High Achiever" Award in the 2020 PV Module Index by the US RenewableEnergy Testing Center; it carried off a TÜV Rheinland “All Quality Matters” awardand was given the highest Altman Z score of all publicly quoted pure-play solarmanufacturers by Bloomberg NEF.
Mr. Shesees two reasons for LONGi’s recent doubling of annual shipments. Firstly,global customers recognize the value of reliable and efficient products and,secondly, markets have become more rational, with the concept of steady andsustainable development continuing to prevail.
Mr. She ended by stressing that, in the era of gridparity, global customers are in urgent need of high power modules that delivershigher power gains and value. He underlined that LONGi will continue to leadthe technological changes in the PV industry with breakthroughs andinnovations, deliver more efficient and reliable PV products and adhere to theconcept of "Solar for Solar" to contribute to progress towards globalcarbon neutrality.Note: This interview was first published in Chinese by the Netherlands ForeignInvestment Agency