JinkoSolar (NYSE: JKS) is one of the largest and most innovative solar module manufacturers in the world. The company distributes its solar products and sells its solutions and services to a diversified international utility, commercial and residential customer base in China, the United States, Japan, Germany, Chile, South Africa, India, Mexico, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium and other countries. JinkoSolar has has also established significant presence in Zimbabwe where they have made a lot of inroads in the supply of solar products in the country. They have built a vertically integrated solar product value chain, with an integrated annual capacity of 31 GW for mono wafers, 19 GW for solar cells, and 36 GW for solar modules, as of September 30, 2021.
JinkoSolar are once again sponsoring the upcoming international Renewable Energy Conference being run by Alpha Media Holdings. They have alreacy participated in similar conferences before and they have made a commitment to take part in future such events hosted by AMH.
AMH’s marketing executive, Loyola Nyangoni (LN) engaged a representative of JinkoSolar, Milicent Chidamba (MC), the company’s sales manager for Southern Africa, and spoke on various issues.
Below is an extract from their discussion.
LN: Please give us a brief of Jinko Solar Internationally and its role in Zimbabwe?
MC: JinkoSolar (NYSE: JKS) is one of the largest and most innovative solar module manufacturer in the world. JinkoSolar distributes its solar products and sells its solutions and services to a diversified international utility, commercial and residential customer base globally. Our vertically integrated manufacturing, financial stability, and operational efficiency have produced results that simply outpace the competition. Cumulatively we have delivered more than 90 GW by end of 2021. JinkoSolar has over 25 000 employees across its 12 productions facilities globally, 35 overseas subsidiaries and global sales teams. Recently we have expanded our portfolio to include energy storage solutions and solar water pumping. Zimbabwe is one of our key markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. To date we have supported many projects, some still under construction. Our role is to ensure we support the energy mix transition, provision of reliable clean energy and above all Building your Trust in Solar as our motto says.
LN: This is your second time sponsoring the International Renewable Energy Conference and your interest is completely undoubted. What is it that drives this interest?
MC: Yes indeed this is our second time sponsoring the International Renewable Energy Conference and it is going to be a permanent event on our calendar. Reason being it is a prime event in Zimbabwe, which brings all the stakeholders under one roof, whereby industry players get to discuss the challenges, opportunities, product trends and how best we can move the industry forward.
LN: What benefits has Jinko Solar accrued from these events?
MC: The key benefit has been that it has strengthened the JinkoSolar brand in the market. We can be bullish at this stage and say that we are the leading solar module brand in the market, but it is fact that it is events such as this that have given us the opportunity to connect with our customers.
LN: The solar industry and renewable energy are now topical issues internationally. Please share with us your experiences in Zimbabwe as compared to other markets.
MC: Over the years, we have seen rapid adoption of solar as the most attractive source of power generation. Just to colour the picture, by the end of 2015, the cumulative capacity installed worldwide was 244.02GW, while by the end of 2020, the total PV capacity installed globally was 789.06GW .The market potential for solar is immense, and it is constantly improving. Cost-competitiveness will enable the technology to reach an increasingly larger share. Markets are so different, hence from Jinkosolar we have always had this approach that “Think Globally and act locally”. Looking at the Zimbabwe market, there is huge potential. We have seen progressive policies such as net metering, zero customs duty on solar panels, etc. However, there is still more to be done in order to grow confidence of investors/financiers/IPPs- I am talking here in terms of reflective cost tariff in real value, exchange control regulations.
LN: Please take us through your new product launch and how Zimbabweans stand to benefit?
MC: We are very excited that we will be launching on the PV side – N-type TOPCon module known as Tiger Neo. Key features are Module efficiency of up to 22.3%, 30 year Linear Performance Warranty and maximum power of up to 620W. N-type represents a further evolution, extending its performance and efficiency resulting in a lower LCOE that is a further 3-6% lower on average. We will also be launching our Energy Storage Solutions for Residential, C & I and Utility Segment and Solar Water Pumping Solutions.
LN: Which Jinko Products are most popular in Zimbabwe?
MC: The most popular product in the market is the Tiger Series – The 400w panel and the 460w Solar panel.
LN: What are your expectations at the forthcoming conference?
MC: The event will grow from strength to strength. We also expect to further grow our customer base and learn more about the developments in the industry.