GoodWe eyes potential of Europe’s C&I storage market

Ron Shen, vice president of power electronics manufacturer GoodWe, recently spoke to pv magazine at The smarter E Europe event in Munich, Germany, about the company’s position in the European market and its focus on the fast-growing commercial and industrial (C&I) storage segment.

Dynamic electricity tariffs are bringing new dynamics to Europe’s C&I storage landscape. The development is catching the interest of big inverter manufacturers, who are shifting their focus increasingly toward C&I storage. At the continent’s largest solar and storage trade show, The Smarter E, held in Munich recently held in Munich, pv magazine caught up with Ron Shen, vice president of power electronics manufacturer GoodWe. The executive provided a glimpse of the company’s activities in this upcoming market segment.

Ron Shen, VP of GoodWe

Image: Goodwe

Shen stated that the European market is experiencing steady growth and is expected to remain robust during an interview conducted on the trade show floor. However, competition is tough, especially in the residential storage market. Shen spoke of a backlog of storage systems that is still in stock with European distributors and installers.

He said that distribution partners in Europe reported that they are sitting on some quantities of hybrid inverters from various manufacturers that haven’t been installed during the big installation wave of 2022. Back then, high electricity prices caused homeowners to seek PV and storage solutions for their homes. Subsequent upward revisions of demand had been fulfilled by the manufacturers, delivering more equipment. Nevertheless, upon the return of electricity prices to their pre-war levels, the elevated demand levels vanished, resulting in the equipment remaining in stock at the distributor’s warehouses.

With the residential segment struggling, new opportunities are shifting into focus. The spread of dynamic electricity tariffs causes business owners to look into commercial and industrial storage applications.

“This market segment is not affected by the same situation as the residential sector, mainly because you don’t produce so many C&I storage systems in advance,” he said.

Over the next year, he said he expects GoodWe to install between 3000 and 4000 C&I storage systems in Europe. “But I think there will be exponential growth in this segment in the coming years,” he added. “So, it could be double, triple and even more of that in the years to come.”

The main demand at present comes from Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden, but also from Poland and Eastern Europe.

Presently, the market is just at the onset stage, he said. Businesses are just beginning to understand the saving potential that results from investing in C&I storage systems. Aside from tapping into the arbitrage, meaning buying power when it’s cheap and storing it to use later when tariffs are going up, he also mentioned providing ancillary services as a revenue stream for C&I storage.

He said he also sees value in setting up virtual power plants to share power among one enterprise across multiple locations. Another revenue stream for system owners could be providing charging solutions for company EVs, employee cars, or offering semi-public charging.

While in the past C&I storage systems had been custom solutions, GoodWe has worked to standardize products for different use cases. This should drive down costs and also allow for easier installation. Customization takes time and has to be performed by a specialized company. This had been a bottleneck in the past, he said.

Another bottleneck for inverter suppliers, meanwhile, appears to have been overcome for the moment. When asked about the security of supply with semiconductors and chips, Shen said that the industry has reacted to the heightened demand. The shortages that occurred two years ago and slowed down production have been offset by the expanding production capacity of the semiconductor manufacturers.

GoodWe went a step further, he said, to secure the company from any future supply chain risks. “We have formed strategic partnerships with the main suppliers of power semiconductors, such as IGBT and MOSFET.”

This post appeared first on PV Magazine.

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