Speech by Mr. Li Zhenguo, President of LONGi Group
The launch of Germany’s Renewable Energy Act or EEG (German: Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz) in 2004 opened the door for renewable photovoltaic energy and contributed substantially to the development of the global photovoltaic industry. Cumulative photovoltaic installations in Germany grew from less than 1GW in 2004 to over 100GW in 2017. Over the past 10 years, the speed of technological progress and cost reduction were beyond anyone’s imagination. For instance, the price of mono-silicon wafer dropped from USD$13 to 44.5 US cents per piece, and module prices declined from USD 4/Wp to 30 US-cents/Wp today. This has made photovoltaic competitive with traditional fossil as a form of energy production. In regions with high irradiance such as Middle East and South America, a large number of projects were developed at a bided on-grid price of less than 2 US-cents/Kwh. Photovoltaic energy has become the cheapest electricity source in these areas.
Photovoltaic technology is still developing rapidly while cost continues to decline. In the next 2-3 years, photovoltaic power will become the cheapest power source in many parts of the world. Concurrently, the technology for battery energy storage has progressed rapidly. We believe that photovoltaic paired with energy storage will become a viable energy source within 10 years. Once the economic efficiency of PV and energy storage is reached, traditional fossil energy will be quickly replaced. In November 2017, the German Energy Watch Group and Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland jointly published a research paper projecting 100% renewable energy resources can be achieved on a global scale by 2050. The renewable mix will consist of 69% photovoltaic, 18% wind, 8% hydro and the balance comprising biomass and tidal energy sources. In this scenario, battery energy storage will cover 31% of electricity demand. Photovoltaic will be a 1000-GW industry.
Photovoltaic power – when it achieves grid parity worldwide - can contribute to the social responsibility of restoring the earth's ecology. For example, large-scale desalination of seawater can be powered with photovoltaic energy; the desalinated seawater can be elevated and transported to dry desert, creating arable land. When vegetation is formed, green plants absorb carbon dioxide in the air, reducing its concentration in the atmosphere and repairing the damage of human development to Earth. The demand for photovoltaic will be further increased.
Photovoltaic energy is clean energy. LONGi aims to employ clean energy sources to meet the energy consumed in the manufacturing of photovoltaic products. For this reason, in 2015, LONGi selected Yunnan, China as its main production base, allowing it to use hydropower to meet almost 100% of the energy consumed in production. LONGi’s vertically integrated production facilities in Malaysia use almost 100% hydropower for its production energy needs.
With large-scale deployment of Photovoltaic + Energy Storage, LONGi believes it will realize the manufacturing goal of "Solar for Solar" (photovoltaic products manufactured with photovoltaic energy). Besides providing clean energy to the world, LONGi will also use clean energy in production.
“Better utilizing sunshine, making a green energy world” is a development theme in LONGi. Let us work together and make this dream come true, as early as possible!