First of all, congratulations to ReneSola for being included in Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) tiering system for PV module makers – joining the often used “Tier 1” category.
According to Kevin Chen, president of ReneSola America, the BNEF recognition should mean that PV project developers, EPCs and financiers involved in the downstream PV project business can now include ReneSola in possible product selection requirements, aka bankability.
According to BNEF: “Tier 1 module manufacturers are those that have provided products to three different projects, which have received non-recourse financing by three different banks in the past two years.”
However, like the PV ranking systems the tiering system is fraught with problems.
Only last October, BNEF classified Conergy as a Tier 1 supplier in a report worryingly entitled PV module bankability: an essential prerequisite?
Conergy has had a chequered past with a series of major restructuring efforts and last year the company seemed to be over those woes. But as is the nature of the downstream market, liquidity requirements can be a ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ kind of thing; last week the company announced it had begun insolvency proceedings.
The hope is that ReneSola isn’t cursed by being included in BNEF’s tiering system, unlike several PV manufacturers that tempted fate with another market research firm's “Top Brand PV” appraisal. Previous recipients of this included Scheuten Solar, Suntech Power Holdings, SolarWatt, Schott, Sovello and Q-Cells.
And we all know what happened to them!