RE+ 2022 was more than just another tradeshow—it was an enthusiastic, long overdue coming together of the North American clean energy community. After three years of COVID cancellations and the numerous trials and tribulations in the industry, the Anaheim show rode a wave of Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) euphoria, renewed mission, robust business opportunities, and the sheer joy of reconnection to become an unforgettable event for the more than 27,000 in attendance. And LONGi was proud to be front and center amid the celebration and commerce.
We were front and center, literally, in the exhibit hall, positioned opposite the main entrance. Our distinctive booth drew many customers, potential customers, industry friends, media and the like, eager to catch up on the latest from LONGi. The main attraction was the launch of our Hi-MO 5 54-cell module, a new high-performance product specifically designed for the rooftop and distributed generation solar market. The module was met with excitement by our residential and commercial partners, and earned significant coverage in the industry trade media.
LONGi was also front and center as a Terawatt sponsor of RE+ as well as a main sponsor of the annual Block Party, which took place at Angels Stadium. It was gratifying to see our logo and branding throughout the halls of the Anaheim Convention Center as well as on the big LED signage down the right-field line and elsewhere in the ballpark. We also hosted a special VIP dinner at the Top of the V restaurant and a raucous post-Block Party customer appreciation event at Golden Road Brewery.
The booth featured informative daily presentations by our staff. Jade Jones, our senior market strategy manager, presented her bespoke PV market outlook that included a “more aggressive” forecast than other analysts. She sees global PV market accelerating to a 26% CAGR over the next three years as supply chain pressures ease and demand picks up. Jade noted how underforecasting can lead to undersupply and offered a more bullish U.S. market outlook than some of her analyst peers. On the back of the IRA passage, she cited strong residential-fueled distributed generation demand as well as an explosive utility-side sector uptick that “will blow us out of the water” and lead the U.S. market to fivefold growth by the end of the decade.
The LONGi team were also active participants in the RE+ conference. Chengjiang “CJ” Fu, our head of product and solutions, took part in a session devoted to PV technologies and design for the future with other industry experts. His presentation focused on LONGi’s wafer, cell and module innovation trajectory and what’s coming next. He noted the ongoing evolution and increasing market dominance of large wafer sizes such as M10 (182 mm), and discussed emerging high-efficiency technologies such as heterojunction (HJT) and TOPcon. His conclusion? The incumbent PERC cells will remain the standard for now, but the new cells will increase their market penetration once their economic value and reliability are validated.
“We recommend customers choose reliable products for the return on investment,” CJ told PV-Tech in an RE+ report on LONGi. “Our R&D teams are working hard to fully evaluate this technology, as well as other new technologies, and develop competitive products that will be introduced to the market soon.”
Aaron Thurlow, our GM of distributed generation, shared his views on the impact of new cell and module technologies on the DG sector during a talk at an RE+ showfloor theater. Along the same lines as his conference presentation, Solar Builder magazine talked to Aaron for its RE+ article about innovations in solar PV C&I design. The story noted Aaron’s belief that “bifacial modules just might be the future in both C&I and residential segments in the future. For one thing, price is becoming less of a factor between monofacial and bifacial (which will only continue). Second, the extra glass of the bifacial modules makes them physically more reliable (as evidenced by LONGi’s 30-year bifacial warranty). At that point, the extra oomph from backside capture is just a nice bonus…. The main thing to know now is that M10 wafer size and LONGi’s R&D is making this potential bifacial push possible.”
In addition to the launch of the Hi-MO 5 54-cell module, another point of interest during the show was the unveiling of our green hydrogen technology for the first time in the North American market. The alkaline electrolyzer on display at our booth drew many curious attendees, and kept Hongbin Fang, director of product marketing, quite busy. As he noted both during his booth presentation and a conference talk, LONGi has taken the strategic view that the combination of green energy (solar) with green hydrogen is one of the best ways to promote the energy transition process and push toward carbon neutrality. LONGi has already commissioned its first 500 MW of electrolyzer production capacity, with another 1 GW due to come online this year, according to Hongbin. A 260 MW/20,000 tons demonstration project in China is expected to be completed by mid-2023.
All in all, it was quite a week. We’d like to thank our hardworking team, customers and partners for a successful RE+. Finally, we’d also like to thank SEIA, SEPA and RE+ Events for organizing and putting on such a great event. Let’s do it again next year in Las Vegas, OK?