As A Leading Technology Supplier, We Are Specialized In Rolling Up Improved Versions Of Any Mature Technology Trends: Hadyr Koumakpai, General Manager Africa, JA Solar


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With your strong presence in the African region, please tell us how different is the Africa PV module market from the other markets?


Africa is the second most populated continent after Asia, with one of the richest solar resources on the planet. The PV module market in Africa is unique with many diversities. To begin with, according to Africa Development Bank, the Electricity Access is just slightly over 40% in terms of grid coverage which at times is not functioning. Also, Africa has 54 countries with different policies and regulations. Therefore, it is required to have a clear understanding of and a dedicated approach to the market which required a lot of resources.

What have been some of the new technology trends in the module industry and how has JA Solar geared up for the same?

Our R&D is in constant development of new technology for a continuous improvement of quality, currently, the demand for higher power and higher density modules has been growing across the global PV market including Africa. My view is with the growth of the industry, product reliability should be a new concept that should be advocated. As a leading technology supplier, we are specialized in rolling up the improved versions of any mature technology trends.

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In 2020 we developed our DeepBlue 3.0 series module based on PERCIUM+ technology and 182mm wafer improved using Gallium doped patented technology to ensure a lower degradation with a greater performance in reliability, conversion efficiency, and power generation. It took a few months for the entire industry to adopt this technology due to its reliability.

Now as the trend is moving towards the n-type, we have launched our new DeepBlue 4.0X, an improved version of the n-type series using our own BYCIUM+ cell technology based on the 182mm low-oxygen wafers with 24.8 % cell efficiency. The product also uses Gapless Flexible Interconnection (GFI) patented technology to address the mechanical stress and micro crack challenge in high-power modules. DeepBlue 4.0X is available in 54-cell, 72-cell, 78-cell, mono facial and bifacial configurations.

Being a leading producer of PV modules, please tell us how your PV modules are best suited to the African market?

JA Solar has always adhered to the product design concept of “customer-oriented” and we have developed a wide range of products for residential, commercial and utility-scale PV projects application. Our product from DeepBlue 3.0 to DeepBlue 4.0 X provides strong stability, and reliability, to our customers and has passed all the required tests to guarantee a fantastic performance under different African climates. That is also justified by the positive feedback we are getting from our customers on the continent even after 7 years of installation.

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In addition, Africa’s economy is growing rapidly, and in 2019 manufacturing sector growth rate is around 39% according to the World Bank, on the other hand, the energy deficit is quite considerable. Therefore, it is important for the government to allow industries to source their own power to improve their cost of production in order to be competitive. With solar technology today providing the best LCOE (Leverage Cost of Electricity) the solution for this manufacturing sector competitiveness is at the finger’s tips.

How do you see the African market evolving this year and how is JA solar preparing for it?

African nations are accelerating their use of renewable energy to power their economies and more countries are joining south Africa in the yearly 0.5GW+ market of installed solar capacity. The PV market is now dominated by the p-type modules but now with the introduction of n-type modules, the market will start shifting to this new technology.

Considering supply chain transition time, the p-type modules will still dominate in the coming years. JA Solar takes a remarkable market share and has deployed over 2GW across Africa. Our team is also growing across Africa and together with our partners, we try to cover and provide a closer service to customers across the continent. The African market has been resilient to challenges and difficulties including climate change, and we believe that the solar growth on the continent cannot be stopped.

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Lastly, please tell us what milestones you are planning for this year?

Despite the negative COVID-19 impacts on the continent, JA Solar has seen over 50% growth in 2020 and 2021. This year the world is facing another new challenge that is impacting on global supply, provoking the increase in the energy cost and inflation in most African countries, even so, we anticipate having 20% market share and at least 25% growth compared to 2021.

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