Solarfun Power Holdings, a leading global manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules, has recently appointed Werner Niehaus as its new VP of global marketing. Niehaus holds a Diploma in Electrical Engineering and has been working for more than 20 years now in marketing and sales positions. For the majority of this time he has held, management positions in the semiconductor industry. In this interview with Jeanny Lim, Editor-in-Chief of InterPV, Niehaus reveals new directions he will pursue as head of Solarfun’ global marketing and talks about what we can expect from Solarfun.
Photo by Solarfun Power Holdings
Reported by Jeanny Lim (email@example.com)
You recently joined Solarfun as new VP of Global Marketing. Congratulations! What new directions will you pursue as head of the global marketing?
We will position Solarfun as a global brand, ‘Global Reach, Local Face’ and highlight the commitment of Solarfun to provide high volumes at world-class quality standards. At the same time you can expect getting lots of opportunities in the future to report about our latest product innovations.
Where would you put your focus this year in terms of both business growth and technology development?
Well, as stated earlier, Solarfun wants to be recognized as a high volume supplier. That demands reliable supplies and the capability to respond to increasing customer demands. Therefore, we have invested in capacity extensions, both in cell capacity and in module capacity. And I promise you will learn about further investments extending our manufacturing capacity. But at the same time we invest in our R&D capabilities. Solarfun is committed to supplying its clients state-of-the-art products. This commitment includes the level of efficiency and behavior of degradation, but at the same time support for new applications, like with our latest innovation ‘SolarIris’
What is your perspective on the market drivers for Solarfun products at this time?
It would be stupid to deny that the currently high demand on the market is one of the drivers. But at the same time many new clients are interested in working with Solarfun long term. I think it? because of our reputation as a reliable business partner supplying world-class quality, our capability turning around high volumes quickly and the fact that Solarfun is on the short list with many banks; in short, it’s the package we offer. At the same time Solarfun’s ability to support globally present clients in each region with local staff is very much appreciated.
Please give us an overview of Solarfun’s activities in the European and North American markets.
Solarfun is very well established in the European markets. That’s documented through the fact that the majority of our revenues are currently coming from European business partners. However, we have established a strong sales team in the U.S.A. now and it has started to pay off already. The business in the U.S.A. for Solarfun is growing fast and we will probably exceed the targets set for this year.
As a leading PV cell and module manufacturer headquartered in China, can you give us an update on the Chinese PV market developments?
The PV market in China is quite important to us. Solarfun has established a strong sales team in China now and opened a sales office in Beijing. We see lots of interest in our offerings and are prepared to address the opportunities we discover quite aggressively.
Solarfun has recently launched its new ‘SolarIris’ line of Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) modules. Could you introduce features of SolarIris? How much demand do you see for the new line of products?
The major feature of ‘SolarIris’ is bringing ‘art’ to BIPV applications. We started to work with creative people like architects as this technology leaves many options to them applying ‘SolarIris’. At this point in time, this technology is probably addressing a niche still, but we are optimistic: with first installations we can generate a continuously growing demand.
What new products and services can we expect from Solarfun?
Without being able to become too specific here, you can expect quite some interesting innovations being introduced throughout 2011. This will include modules enabling new applications as well as new technology developments increasing efficiency levels significantly while reducing the speed of degradation. As PV modules featuring AC output shall become available as well as new products addressing BIPV applications.
Is there any other subject you would like to talk about?
I’d like to take the opportunity asking InterPV readers to visit Solarfun’s website which comes along in a new look while featuring new applications and information at the same time.
Jeanny Lim is Editor-in-Chief of InterPV. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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