GoodWe founder on PV inverter trends, opportunities, and the key to business success

At this year’s SNEC event in Shanghai, China, pv magazine took the opportunity to talk with GoodWe founder and chairman, Daniel Huang. He outlined the key PV inverter trends he expects to see over the coming years and discusses growth from a domestic company to a multinational player with offices across the world. Overall, he abides by three key ingredients for business success.

July 6, 2021

pv magazine: Although the PV industry has seen great prosperity over the past few years, it has also encountered many challenges. Despite these, GoodWe keeps growing steadily. What is your secret?

Daniel Huang, founder & chairman of GoodWe: First, my motto is “focus on what really matters”. I believe in three key ingredients: product, quality, and service. If you stick to these, you will always thrive and win the trust of customers. I also believe a thorough understanding of market dynamics gives us an edge. Looking back at GoodWe’s history, we expanded our presence abroad in 2012, starting with small residential inverters. We then decided to focus more on the domestic market because I saw the opportunity in China’s residential PV sector around 2014 when talking to our international customers. We invested heavily in China’s first solar inverter academy to share knowledge and educate our customers and partners. Then, from 2016, we started getting many orders. In 2017, when the Chinese market was booming, I noticed it had become oversaturated and that’s when GoodWe began its second internationalization phase and opened offices in every corner of the world.

What are the main PV inverter trends?

The first trend is that more and more string inverters are being used in PV farms, because of the many advantages they present; namely, higher efficiency, easier installation, and user-friendly operations and maintenance (O&M).

The second is the integration of PV with storage. Storage is becoming increasingly popular in all kinds of scenarios, including utility scale, commercial and industrial (C&I) distributed PV, and residential PV. We see many inverter manufacturers launching inverter products for the storage segment.

The third trend is the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligent energy. The combination of PV, inverters, storage, and intelligent algorithms can form an energy internet facilitating intelligent energy management.

The final is safety. As PV becomes mainstream, safety requirements are key. As Huawei is doing now, GoodWe is also exploring new technologies for increased safety such as arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) and rapid shutdown, etc.

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As you mentioned, the rise of AI is a trend in the inverter sector and PV inverters provide live data for system control and management. How does GoodWe help customers with smart control?

We believe that in the future, PV systems will be part of an intelligent and digitalized energy system, part of an energy internet. GoodWe is committed to providing customers with products and solutions made for this future. We have established a Smart Energy Management System (SEMS) for O&M a while back and we remain just as focused now. User interface is becoming more and more practical and the overall user experience is getting better and better.

GoodWe is a multinational company. How do you manage cultural differences in a global business environment?

The first word that comes to my mind is “respect”. When we set up a new branch in a new country we respect and abide by local laws, regulations, and traditions. We hire local talents to work for GoodWe and we respect them and give them enough autonomy, so they can unleash their full potential. The second is contribution. We always aim to contribute to the local economy with taxes and employment opportunities. And final word is adaptation. We strive to integrate into the local culture, become a popular brand, and a respected company. That’s our focus on international marketing.

The PV industry has seen cost rises in the second half of 2020 which hit the entire industry significantly. The chip shortage also affected many inverter manufacturers. How is GoodWe dealing with this?

The chip shortage is a direct consequence of the digitalization of society. And my view is this trend will likely continue for the next two or three years. However, GoodWe has always good partnerships with venders including chip suppliers. Currently, we have a guaranteed chip supply, and we are not affected by this.

What kind of company do you want GoodWe to be in ten years?

I wish to see GoodWe as the industry leader. That does not necessarily mean the top seller but the most respected one, the trend setter, the one with the best record in corporate social responsibility (CSR), loved and cherished by customers, employees, and shareholders. That’s my vision.

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