Hanwha Q Cells, a leading global solar company constantly exploring new approaches and technologies, is now focusing on small solar power generation facilities. “While large-scale solar energy projects are important, there is no denying that the world is now experiencing a boom of small solar energy generation,” said Kim Dong-kwan, a senior managing director of Hanwha Q CELLS, a solar unit of the Hanwha Group.
Kim said that while there are not many large-scale solar energy projects underway globally, the demand for small-scale solar power generation has been rising. The U.S. government's safeguard (emergency import restriction) measures on solar cells and modules, which have been in effect since February 7, also may have played a role in for the shift in small-scale solar generation. As a result, Kim, a chief commercial officer (CCO) at Hanwha Q CELLS, has remained focused on marketing of solar energy modules through small and medium-size outlets.
Hanwha Q CELLS is the world's No. 1 in terms of production of solar cells. In general, a solar panel is made up of 60 solar cells that are electrically connected together in the panel and safely protected by a tough glass panel and a frame. Several panels together make up a powerful and efficient solar system. The company manufactures modules with cells that it produces and sells them globally. It has the world's second largest annual module production capacity of 8 gigawatts(GW).
Until last year, Senior Managing Director Kim had focused on supplying modules through large orders for projects. However, he changed his strategy, believing that it will be difficult to achieve sustainable growth of solar energy business if his firm keeps an eye on large-scale projects only.
”It is recently becoming a trend to build small solar power facilities in villages and homes in Europe and Japan as well as Korea,” Kim said. “We are trying to get in sync with this trend,” he said.
The core of retail sales is the sales network, a concept similar to the dealership. Kim disclosed that the number of “Q Partners” in Europe is expected to increase from 200 in 2016 to 800 this year.
In Japan, which boasts the largest solar power market in the world, Hanwha Q CELLS has plans to increase the number of “Q Partners’’ (marketing network) from 600 in 2016 to 900 this year. While expansion of the marketing network costs more to sell and manage than a major project order, it will yield more profit, Kim said
Keeping the shifting global solar generation trend in mind, Hanwha Q CELLS Korea is also working hard to supply solar energy to homes in Korea. If a solar module with a capacity of 260 watts is installed on the balcony of an apartment, electricity that can power a refrigerator will be obtained.
Hanwha Q CELLS Korea is now participating in the solar energy houses distribution project organized by Korea Energy Agency. Effective April this year, Hanwha Q CELLS Korea supplies high-efficiency modules to firms that install mini-powered generators at apartment balconies "If a resident of Seoul city installs a 260W solar module, he or she needs to pay about KRW80,000, but electricity charge of KRW300,000 will be saved for five years" said a spokesman for Hanwha Q CELLS. The company is currently providing one-stop service to individual investors ranging from investment consulting on solar power plants to approval and construction.
Hanwha Q CELLS receives top brand award from EuPD Research in Europe
In March 2018 Hanwha Q Cells has been awarded the "Top Brand PV Seal 2018" from EuPD Research for the fifth time in a row in Europe and for the third time in Australia based on surveys among installers of modules, inverters and energy storage systems in the respective markets.
Hanwha Q CELLS received particularly high marks in brand awareness and recommendation this year.
Hanwha Q CELLS is accelerating its overseas campaign through production presence in Europe. The company inaugurated a 500MW photovoltaic manufacturing facility in Ankara, Turkey late last year. The manufacturing facility will be fully integrated from ingot, wafer and cell to module processes. Upon commercial production from 2019, the modules from this facility will be used for the construction of a 1GW solar power plant to be built in Turkey, according to the company.
Once completed, the plant will be the largest solar power plant in Europe. Hanwha Q CELLS is a market leader in solar cells and modules in Turkey. Turkey could be a manufacturing hub for Hanwha Q CELLS which wants to make a bigger footprint in Europe and the Middle East where demand for solar power is growing.
Contract signed to supply solar modules to Netherlands’ largest floating solar project
Hanwha Q CELLS, the world’s leading solar cell producer, has been awarded the contract to supply solar modules for the Netherlands’ largest floating solar PV system set to be built atop a water reservoir in the center of the country.
On April 5, the company announced that it had been awarded the supply contract by local solar developer Tenten Solar Zonnepanelen, which is building the Floating Solar Park located in the central Netherlands municipality of Lingewaard.
Upon completion, the project will have total capacity of 1.85 megawatts (MW) and will generate around 1,575.5 MW-hours each year, enough clean electricity to supply the needs of more than 380 local households. Though relatively small compared to some of the traditional solar projects being developed around the world, it is also somewhat commonplace in the Netherlands, where land is hard and expensive to come by, but water area is plentiful.