Hanwha’s PV future based on former Q-Cells

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group has revealed that its PV industry foray that started with the acquisition of Chinese manufacturer Solarfun and last year included the bailout of Germany’s Q-Cells will become a “centrepiece” of the company’s future growth.

Q-Cells, now rebranded, Hanwha Q CELLS was said to become “the platform for the global solar business of Hanwha”.

“Our commitment to solar extends beyond building a successful business. We are dedicated to turning solar into the centrepiece of the group's future growth,” said Ki-Joon Hong, the vice chairman and chief executive of Hanwha Chemical, representing Hanwha Group.

Having already acquired and rebranded Solarfun as Hanwha SolarOne and pursued efforts from R&D initiatives to rebranding to reboot the China-based module manufacturer's collapsed sales and shipments, Hanwha then acquired a highly differentiated solar cell and module manufacturer in the form of Q-Cells.

Importantly, Q-Cells also included the must-have PV project development expertise in the form of subsidiary Q-Cells International.

However, the key initial conundrum was whether Q-Cells would be amalgamated into Hanwha SolarOne to create a single top five PV company. A year later and that has happened but recent new module technology launches by both Hanwha Q CELLS (see video interview left) and Hanwha SolarOne clearly point to the former Q-Cells cell and module technology being adopted by Hanwha SolarOne, albeit in slightly different specifications, notably in a lower cost format.

That trend looks set to continue with Hanwha Q CELLS driving the technology innovations as the ‘platform’ leader, while Hanwha SolarOne gains upgrades in cell and module performance with a focus on cost conscious adoption, along the lines of a copy smart manufacturing approach with ‘cost’ being the ‘smart’ aspect of the ‘copy’ strategy.

What is not yet clear is whether previous R&D programmes established at Hanwha SolarOne would continue, be shelved or be integrated in Hanwha Q CELLS R&D initiatives.

Project pipeline

Hanwha Q CELLS also highlighted for the first time since acquiring Q-Cells and its project development arm that its pipeline of projects stood at around 500MW. However, the company did not provide further information on the projects and timelines.

Manufacturing update

The company did make a link with the pipeline and manufacturing utilisation rates.

In a statement the company said: ‘Hanwha Q CELLS’ strong market position is further backed by a solid project pipeline. The company’s production facilities for solar cells and modules in Germany and for solar cells in Malaysia are well utilised due to strong demand from several markets such as Japan, and the company has a solid downstream pipeline of around 500MW in the EPC and utility business.’

Hanwha Q CELLS noted that it operated branches in Germany, Malaysia, the United States, Japan, Australia, Korea and Canada. It also noted its ‘Made in EU' certificate, received in March 2013 for manufacturing solar cells and solar modules comprised entirely of European components, which supported installations in France due to customers receiving up to a 10% higher feed-in tariff with the local content clause.

Hanwha Q CELLS, CEO Charles Kim said: “We are optimistic that our production lines will continue to be well utilised throughout 2013.”

A new product generation based on Q.ANTUM technology is particularly expected to generate increased demand worldwide after it is launched in May 2013.

The Hanwha Group also has another feather to add to its cap in the form of a diversified manufacturing footprint that includes Germany, Malaysia and China. The benefits of this should allow better matching of product requirements for different regional markets, not least the need to be able to bypass tariffs and duties such as those imposed in the US against Chinese solar cells and possible tariffs on Chinese PV products in the EU. 

10 November 2021
The solar tracker market continues to mature at breakneck speed, with designs and component selections becoming ever-more complex in the pursuit of better project economics. But a more simplistic design could deliver a triple benefit of lower Capex, EPC and Opex costs. This webinar will set out the ideal single axis tracker design for utility-scale solar farms. The design leapfrogs from decades of experience, with a comprehensive understanding and attention to the three cost structures of Capex, EPC and Opx. Sun and Steel Solar has prototyped a single axis tracker designed to deliver up to US$0.03/W in real savings compared to existing single axis trackers on the market. That’s US$30 million for every gigawatt deployed.
15 November 2021
The 10th edition of the famous Metallization and Interconnection Workshop, MIW2021, will take place in the Thor Central venue in Genk, Belgium, on Monday, November 15, and Tuesday, November 16, 2021 as a face-to-face meeting. We are longing for direct exchange of knowledge and ideas after a long time. Hopefully you can be part of it! But of course, the organizors will keep an eye on the evolution of the Covid pandemic. It will be assess carefully, whether the workshop can be held without major risks or excessive restrictions. We are looking forward to exciting talks, discussions and meetings and to welcoming you in Genk!
23 November 2021
The solar, storage and EV industries in the UK are going from strength to strength. There is no better place for the community to meet, share ideas and do business than Solar & Storage Live from 23-25 November at the NEC.There’s something for everyone; more than 150 exhibitors, a high-level conference, a start up and innovation zone, a poster zone, strategic partners to network with and much more. 
1 December 2021
Understand fully the technical and logistical supply chains that determine the production and performance of solar modules, including all related factors impacting quality, reliability & bankability. This event will be run online with streamed content, access to session recordings and chat/messaging tools for delegates to connect.
2 December 2021
Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition & conference series for the solar industry. As part of this event series, Intersolar India in Mumbai is India’s most pioneering exhibition and conference for India’s solar industry. It takes place annually and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. Since 2019, Intersolar India is held under the umbrella of The smarter E India – India’s innovation hub for the new energy world.
13 January 2022
Intersolar North America and Energy Storage North America “Come Together” for the first time in Long Beach, CA—connecting installers, developers, utilities, technology providers, policy makers, and key stakeholders from around the world to advance the clean energy future. With best-in-class conference programming, integrated exhibits and pavilions, and the live Solar Games installer competition, #isnaesna21 will showcase the industry trends, innovative solutions, and emerging talent transforming the solar, energy storage, and e-mobility markets. Register today to redeem our exclusive offer for PV Tech readers—free expo hall or 20% off full conference pass.

Read Next

October 25, 2021
Global renewables industries are expectant as COP26 looms, however supply chain volatility has continued to dent deployment prospects going into a crucial decade. We discuss this and much more in this month's Solar Media Podcast.
October 25, 2021
NextEra Energy Partners (NEP) has agreed to buy a 50% stake in a 2.5GW renewables portfolio and enter into a US$824 million convertible equity portfolio financing that includes the acquired assets
October 25, 2021
Despite delays and supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19, global solar PV employment increased by 6% last year to reach nearly 4 million, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
October 25, 2021
Europe’s leaders have called on the European Investment Bank (EIB) to investigate how to speed up investment in the energy transition to reduce the risk of future energy price crises.
October 25, 2021
South African public utility Eskom has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with mining companies Exxaro and Seriti Resources to help decarbonise their operations by deploying solar PV
October 25, 2021
Oil and gas company Galp has secured loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support the construction of more than 2.1GWp of solar projects across Spain and Portugal.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
November 10, 2021
8am (PST) | 5pm (CET)
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021