Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen.
My name is Zhenguo Li. I am the Founder and CEO of LONGi Group.
After graduating with degree of material science from school, my very first job was to pull mono crystalline ingot. Since then, my whole career life has been dedicated to advancing mono technology for more than 30 years now. LONGi was founded by myself & several of my classmates in the year of 2000. Our company LONGi was actually named after the principal of our school. For almost 2 decades now, LONGi is proud to be part of the tremendous growth of the solar industry, which has grown from 100 megawatt annual installation size in 2000 to over 100 gigawatts by 2017.
LONGi was a small scale semiconductor ingot and wafer manufacturer before 2004, until Germany announced its feed in tariffs. We then changed our business focus to solar. It took us 7 years to become the biggest solar mono wafer supplier in the industry. To better deliver the value of mono technology to end users, LONGi an upstream materials company making wafers, started its cell and module operations by the end of 2014. In less than 4 years, LONGi has become the largest integrated mono materials supplier in the world: from producing ingot, to wafer, to cell and to module. Our wafer capacity is on track to reach 28 gigawatts by end of this year and to 45 gigawatts by 2020. Further, we are also committed to expand our mono module capacity to 20 gigawatts by 2020.
In the past 3 years, LONGi has successfully changed the solar market installation base in China. Before our entry downstream, mono market share in China was less than 5%; the other technology, multi, accounted for the other 95%. In 2015, our first full year in modules, the China mono market grew to 15%, then 27% in 2016 and 36% in 2017. In the first half this year, according to 3rd party data, mono market share in China is now over 50%.
LONGi has two distinct advantages.
First, we define ourselves as a technology company. Every year we spend about 5-7% of total revenue on Research and Development. In 2017 our R&D expense was more than $170 million dollars, which makes us the biggest investor in advancing solar technology. We have seen great return from this investment: in 2017 we broke the PERC cell efficiency world record multiple times. This year, we are also on track to ship about one gigawatt of bifacial modules, the largest deployment of this product by any supplier so far.
Our second advantage is our financial health. Since we are providing 25-30 years warranty to customers, we believe that the best warranty is to make sure company lifetime is longer than product lifetime. For the last couple of years, Bloomberg New Energy Finance has consistently ranked LONGi among the most financially sound solar companies.
From 2015 on, we also have started to move our manufacturing facilities to Yunnan Province in China and Sarawak, Malaysia, where we are able to source 100% hydro for our power needs. LONGi has been using Clean Energy to make Clean Energy products. Today, we are pursuing “Solar for Solar” concept, wherein we will use solar panels combined with storage to run factories which make solar products. Today, as we all know, the tariff of solar energy is less than 2 US cents per kilo watt hour in some regions like the Middle East and Latin America, which is the strongest proof that Solar energy is on track to become the cheapest energy source on earth. LONGi is deep into site selection for our next integrated expansion to realize our “Solar for Solar” ambition.
LONGi firmly believes that “Solar paired with Energy Storage” is the ultimate energy solution for the human being.
Late last year, I read a report by researchers from Finland and Germany, which said this world would be 100% renewable energy by 2050: among which solar will account for 68%. Our calculation shows that Solar needs be at a 1,000 gigawatt installation per year in the next 30 years to realize that target. Then, we need to replace the solar modules from the 31st year onwards, which means solar will be a substantially 1,000 gigawatt market for the foreseeable future. This calculation is only based on the population increase and quality of life improvement. When solar energy becomes cheap enough, it can undertake more important roles. For instance, we can use solar to desalinate sea water to fresh water, turn the dessert into an oasis with irrigation powered by solar panels, then we capture more carbon dioxide with these oasis. Once that happens, Solar’s market potential will not just be over 1,000 annual gigawatts but a true vehicle for healthy change in our planet.
I appreciate Bloomberg New Energy Finance for giving me this chance to share with you all our belief and confidence in Solar. Thank you!