London: LONGi, a leading manufacturer of monocrystalline high-performance modules, cells and wafers, expects the market volume for photovoltaic modules to reach 1,000 gigawatts (GW) in the near future. This is what Zhenguo Li, founder and CEO of the Chinese group, said at the Future of Energy Summit in London at the beginning of October.
“By 2050, 100 percent of global electricity demand could be met from renewable energy sources, 68 percent from solar energy. This was the result of a German-Finnish study. Our calculations show that in the medium term, 1,000 GW of PV capacity would have to be installed annually if population growth and the improvement of quality of life were to be taken into account,” says Zhenguo Li. “After 30 years, the solar modules will have to be replaced by new ones. So the solar market is far from getting saturated.” In the year 2000, the globally installed PV capacity was still 100 megawatts (MW) and rose to over 100 GW by 2017.
Solar will be cheapest energy source in the future
“In some regions of the world, a kilowatt hour of solar power already costs less than 2 US cents, for example in the Middle East and Latin America. Solar energy is on its way to becoming the cheapest energy source in the world. Together with energy storage, I consider it to be the ultimate energy solution for mankind,” Li continues.
Highest investments in R&D
In order to make solar power as inexpensive as possible, LONGi Solar is investing more than any other manufacturer in the development of monocrystalline high-efficiency technologies.
In the first half of 2018, LONGi Solar invested USD 105 million in research and development, equivalent to 7.18 percent of the company’s revenue. LONGi Solar employs 500 people in R&D and holds 260 technology patents. This enabled the manufacturer to break the PERC cell efficiency record several times in 2017.
The product portfolio includes bifacial modules as well as modules with half cells and next-generation PERC mono modules that use other high-efficiency technologies.
From start-up to world market leader
Li founded LONGi together with fellow students in 2000. At that time, LONGi was a small semiconductor ingot and wafer manufacturer. After Germany announced the feed-in tariff in 2004, LONGi concentrated on solar energy. Seven years later, the company was the world’s largest manufacturer of monocrystalline wafers and from 2014 also produced solar cells and modules. LONGi will reach 28 GW wafer capacity by the end of the year and 45 GW by 2020. Module production capacity is expected to reach 20 GW by 2020.
About LONGi Solar
LONGi Solar is a world-leading manufacturer of high-efficiency monocrystalline solar cells and modules. LONGi group, the parent company of LONGi Solar, has been focusing on monocrystalline technology since its foundation 18 years ago and is the largest supplier of monocrystalline silicon wafers in the world, with total assets above $5.2 billion (2017). The company has its headquarters in Xi’an and branches in Japan, Europe, North America, India, Malaysia, Australia and Africa.