‘Maintaining a flexible production strategy’: Runergy on its plans for European expansion at Intersolar Europe 2024

“We emphasise sustainability in our operations and product offerings to resonate with the European market’s strong focus on green energy and environmental responsibility,” said Ellen Wang.

Chinese module manufacturer Runergy has already announced a number of products it plans to demonstrate at this week’s Intersolar Europe event in Munich, including the DH144N9 and DH108N12B modules. Here, PV Tech speaks with the Ellen Wang, VP of global sales at Runergy, about the company’s current market position, its work in the European solar sector and how opportunities can arise from challenges in the global solar industry.

PV Tech: How would you describe Runergy’s current market position? How have you secured a competitive advantage in the global solar sector, and how do you plan to adapt your focus for particular markets, such as Europe?

Ellen Wang: Runergy has established itself as a significant player in the global solar sector, with a strong presence in multiple international markets. Our competitive advantage stems from reliable solar products, strategic partnerships, extensive production capabilities, continuous innovation and a strong focus on sustainability and customer support.

Runergy is renowned for its high-efficiency n-type solar cells and modules, which offer superior performance and reliability. Collaborations with leading local companies have been pivotal in enhancing Runergy’s presence in the European market. We leverage local expertise and distribution networks to ensure that our solar technologies are effectively deployed across different regions.

Runergy’s extensive production capabilities, with 17 facilities spread across different countries, ensure that the company can meet global demand efficiently. It not only boosts production capacity but also mitigates risks related to supply chain disruptions. Also, our in-house PV research institute gathers top talent to drive innovation.

For markets like Europe, we tailor our offerings to meet local requirements. This includes developing products aligned with Europe’s strict environmental and energy regulations, such as our n-type PV modules that hold the French Carbon Footprint PPE2 Certification and Italy’s rigorous CSI Class 1 fire resistance certification. We emphasise sustainability in our operations and product offerings to resonate with the European market’s strong focus on green energy and environmental responsibility.

Are there examples of how your work has benefitted European customers? How have you sought to establish and uphold strong relationships with key clients and partners?

Runergy has established strong relationships with leading institutions in the European solar industry to drive the region’s green energy transition. We have forged a strategic partnership with Fraunhofer-ISE, the largest solar research institute in Europe, to collaborate on advancing solar technology and applications.

We have built cooperation with many industrial associations, such as the latest PSF, in different European countries to promote the development of the solar industry. This has allowed us to provide superior solar products tailored to the needs of local customers across the continent.

Furthermore, we actively participate in high-level industry summits and expos to stay at the forefront of market trends and cultivate valuable connections. Our solar modules are now powering large-scale renewable energy projects in countries like Denmark, Sweden and Poland, helping these markets achieve greater energy independence and emissions reductions. Establishing and maintaining robust client relationships is a core part of our global sales strategy.

We prioritise having a dedicated local presence in our key European markets, with sales teams that deeply understand the regional business landscape and regulatory environment. This enables us to provide highly personalised services and support that address the unique needs of our customers. We also invest heavily in building long-term, strategic partnerships with leading distributors, installers, and other industry players across Europe. These collaborative relationships allow us to leverage complementary capabilities and ultimately provide enhanced solutions for our European customers.

What are the company’s plans for expanding into new markets? What are some of the company’s recent growth milestones?

Runergy is enhancing its global market footprint through its expansion into new markets worldwide, with a particular focus on Europe, Southeast Asia, the US and Latin America. The company has achieved significant growth, with a current total cell production capacity of 63GW and a planned module capacity of 23GW for 2024.

Runergy is also establishing a new module manufacturing facility in the US to better serve the North American market. In terms of recent milestones, the company has successfully onboarded numerous new customers across Europe, spanning the residential, commercial and utility-scale solar sectors. This customer growth has been accompanied by a substantial increase in Runergy’s workforce, reflecting the need to expand operations and support the company’s ongoing growth.

Furthermore, Runergy has made considerable technological advancements, particularly in its n-type cell and module offerings. These new products boast improved performance characteristics compared to previous generations. These innovations position Runergy as a leader in solar technology and enable the company to deliver even more value to its growing global customer base.

How does the company innovate in technology and research to stay at the forefront of the market?

Innovation and technological advancements are the lifeblood of our company. We make significant investments to stay aligned with evolving market trends and customer needs. Our n-type solar technology has been particularly well-received by our European clients. These n-type products not only generate more power but also boast superior reliability and cost-effectiveness, key factors for our clients.

The flagship offerings in our module portfolio are the DH144N9 and DH108N12B. The DH144N9, optimised for efficient container utilisation during shipping, delivers an impressive 630W power output, 22.8% power conversion efficiency, and lower levelised cost of electricity (LCOE). It excels in challenging environments like snowy regions, desert landscapes and salt flats, thanks to its higher bifaciality, better low-light performance, lower degradation and better temperature coefficient, ensuring optimal performance.

The DH108N12B, on the other hand, is a full-black, lightweight module that is ideal for rooftop installations. It offers a 455W power output, promising high returns and a shorter investment cycle for homeowners. Recently, Runergy’s n-type PV modules have been recognized as a “2024 Top Performer” by Kiwa PVEL and a “2024 Highest Achiever” by RETC.

What initiatives for professional growth and fostering a culture of excellence do you have in place? What steps has Runergy taken to ensure you are operating responsibly, from both a human and environmental perspective?

Runergy is dedicated to cultivating a culture of excellence and professional development among its workforce. We have established comprehensive training initiatives and frequent skill evaluations to guarantee continuous enhancement of our team’s skills and competencies. Our organisational values prioritise diversity and inclusion, as we strongly advocate for an inclusive workplace that fosters innovation and collaboration.

From an environmental perspective, we are unwavering in our commitment to sustainable practices. We utilise eco-friendly materials and production processes to minimise our carbon footprint and promote responsible operations. In fact, since June 2023, Runergy has been a proud member of the United Nations Global Compact. Our dedication to sustainability is further evidenced by our impressive environmental, social and governance (ESG) rankings, which have earned us recognition from Dun & Bradstreet, EcoVadis and Achilles.

How has Runergy adapted to challenges in the global solar market from a product perspective, such as falling module prices? Are there any industry trends that you think present an opportunity for the company?

Runergy has demonstrated remarkable agility in navigating the dynamic global solar market. As a vertically-integrated player spanning the entire industrial chain – from polysilicon to wafers, cells, modules and complete solar project solutions – we are well-equipped to address the challenges posed by fluctuating module prices and evolving regulatory environments. A key aspect of our approach is maintaining a flexible production strategy and investing heavily in research and development to stay ahead of market trends.

These very same challenges also present us with unique opportunities to innovate and differentiate ourselves through advanced technologies. Specifically, we have focused on developing high-value products, such as our industry-leading n-type modules, which offer superior performance and reliability characteristics. These efforts have positioned us to take advantage of the increasing global demand for renewable energy and the rapid advancements in solar technology.

We see these industry trends as significant growth opportunities that will allow Runergy to expand our market share and drive sustained profitability. By continuously adapting our strategies to the evolving solar landscape, we remain committed to being a global partner for our customers in the renewable energy industry.

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