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SolarQuarter had an exclusive interaction with Kevin Robinson, Sales Director – SS Africa, LONGi SOLAR and gained a great understanding of the different aspects of the company with respect to the business, product, technology, and future growth plans.
How has the past year been for LONGi Solar’s Sub Saharan Africa region?
Parts of the SSA market have developed well but as always we have markets where we need to focus our attention on developing brand awareness around the unique value proposition that we offer our clients. We are enjoying the benefits of time well spent with our customers last year where we showed them how we can maximize their returns. The pipeline we have built for 2022 is already looking quite positive with some larger developments moving into execution phases this year.
Kindly tell us about the suitability of LONGi modules for the region.
LONGi is a technology company so we pay a lot of attention to The research and development of the materials and technology that goes into the manufacturing of our modules. We have proven our quality, durability and improved energy yields verified through many different independent test facilities, winning recognition for best in class energy yields and best in class durability and reliability both in the field and in laboratories. Using gallium doping for our solar cells we have reduced the effects of LID, LeTID and annual degradation. In addition, LONGi has passed hail testing with 50mm hailstones which is twice the IEC specification so this is an important factor for clients to consider in regions where hail can impact solar installations. . For clients who are interested in sustainability we have shown a strong commitment to the environment firstly with our Solar for Solar program and our commitment to RE100. All of these factors contribute to us being one of the best module partners for solar installations in Africa.
How is the module technology evolving in the Sub-Saharan Africa region? Where do you see the trend going forward?
Over the past 2 to 3 years we have seen module power class increasing significantly with larger solar cells and as a result the physical sizes of the modules. The main benefit has been reducing modules costs through optimizing production and transportation costs. The next innovations will be in the commercialization of new cell technologies which we will see reaching mass production in a phased approach over the next 3 years.
What are your plans for growth and development for the year 2022?
We are capitalizing on the foundations laid by our team over the past 2 years in the region. After spending some time in Q4 2021 ensuring that our team is better equipped to service customers in our focus markets, we are looking forward to the opportunity to grow our market share by executing our plans in a way that is meaningful to our customers in the region. An important part of our growth strategy is in green Hydrogen. We have already identified some exciting opportunities for green hydrogen projects so it is an interesting period post COP26 for us to start to work with partners on their development and implementation goal in this developing industry.