Shipping solar energy into high gear
Published on 23 November 2016
In 2015, solar power covered more than 1% of the global electricity demand for the first time in history, according to Solar Power Europe.
Working around the clock to keep up with demand, Trina Solar’s production perfectly illustrates the state of the global solar industry. It is booming and en-route to yet another record-breaking year.
In 2015, solar power covered more than 1% of global electricity demand for the first time, according to Solar Power Europe. In addition, Oxford University predicts, that solar energy is on course to meet 20% of global energy needs by 2027.
Chineses dominate the industry
The solar industry is picking up the pace and Chinese producers dominate the industry. One of these companies, Trina Solar in Changzhou, China, is the world’s no. 1 in deployed capacity and in a recent tender, Maersk Line was awarded 50% of the company’s volumes. Agility is key to catering for the ever-growing volumes of Trina Solar.
“The biggest vessels cannot call Waigaoqiao terminal making it a bottleneck for any carriers if Trina Solar wants to load a huge order,” says Wilson Xu, Head of Shanghai and Yangtze River Sales at Maersk Line.
“At Maersk Line we saw this and we are considering the possibility of introducing an additional call to Yangshan terminal, which solves the problem. Even with the biggest orders, they will never have a headache making the shipment,” says Wilson Xu, adding that the partnership between Trina Solar and Maersk Line has been developing and growing since 2009.
"As a leader in the industry, Maersk Line has the ability to serve our needs," says Dave Du, Vice President and Head of Global Sourcing at Trina Solar. Based in China, the company has customers in North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Australia and India.
I would like to give credit to our focus on technological innovation, high quality standard, and our success in globalisation.VICE PRESIDENT AND HEAD OF GLOBAL SOURCING AT TRINA SOLAR, DAVID DU
The potential for collaboration is increasing. According to Greentech Media, a media and research company that covers the area of green technology, global shipments of solar panels grew by 42% in 2015 to 59.7 GW. McKinsey and Company, a management consultancy firm, also sees the solar industry poised to assume a bigger role in global energy markets with widespread and significant impact on businesses and consumers as it evolves.
For Trina Solar, globalsation has been just as important as anything else to its success. Serving customers in over 63 countries, shipping is an integral part of its value proposition.
“I would like to give credit to our focus on technological innovation, high quality standard, and our success in globalisation,” says Vice President and Head of Global Sourcing at Trina Solar, Dave Du, when asked how a company founded in 1997 has managed to take the industry lead.
“Excellent shipping services ensure that our customers receive products on time and at competitive costs so they can meet their project timelines and financial goals,” says Dave Du and elaborates on Trina Solar’s partnership with Maersk Line.
“Maersk Line provides efficient and reliable shipping services at competitive prices. It is all about quality, costs, on time delivery, and flexibility that differentiate a world-class logistics provider from the rest.
In its infancy, the solar industry depended heavily on subsidies, but as it continues to drive down cost, the point where it can compete head-to-head with conventional energy sources is approaching fast. ‘Grid parity’ describes the situation when a clean energy like solar costs the same as a conventional energy form from the grid.
“Solar will reach grid parity in places like Germany, Italy and California within two to three years and we are optimistic that solar energy will reach grid parity globally by 2020, when we expect solar to become the number one source of energy in the world,” says Dave Du.
Thus, there is no breathing room on the cards for either Trina Solar’s production line or Maersk Line’s agility.