Could you please introduce yourself and tell us some more about your personal background?
I joined the PV-industry in 2006. I came from the financial industry and have previously been Head of Sales and Marketing for Credit Suisse in the Nordic region.
Please introduce your company, tell us briefly about its history, main activities and key products.
Our company was founded in 2002 by Peter H. Johnsson. Peter Johnson was previously the CEO of GPV, (which today is part of the SolarWorld group) and he is today our Head of production and development. Our main activity is producing PV modules at our production lines in Sweden and Poland. We have a total of 45MW module production capacity. We also provide our clients with complete system installations.
What are the ambitions of your company for the coming 3 years in terms of markets and volumes?
We are listing our stock on the Swedish stock exchange on 18 December and we have ambitious growth targets going forward.
What is your opinion about the current PV market situation in your country?
Sweden is normally a country of early adopters and we have a history of being strong in the field of R&D. However given the lack of sunshine and incentives the market has been rather slow lately. At present it seems that the government will mainly support initiatives within biomass (probably as we have a large forestry and automotive industry in Sweden), but we are hoping that they will further support the PV industry and adhere to EU goals on renewable energy. However we see more projects coming in and we get more requests now from Sweden than ever before, so I believe there is an uptrend.
If you were looking for international cooperation, which kinds of business partners would you be specially interested in?
System installers, resellers and project developers.
Which issues or developments are you specially interested in?
Of course it is of interest to our industry that PV can compete with other energy sources. So the prices for the end-client must come down further and the incentive programmes be built-out faster.
What will help your company grow even faster?
Less bureaucracy regarding permits for PV instalments andt raising or cancellation of the limits of certain incentive programmes in Europe.
What market development has surprised you the most in recent years?
The high PV demand from Germany. I think it is amazing that a country which is not known for sunny weather had 57% of all PV installed capacity in 2005. It shows that politicians can make a difference.
What do you see as the major challenges in the PV market?
The main challenge is still the shortage of silicon.
What do you consider as the biggest failures or mistakes made in the solar industry?
I think that our industry going forward and needs very strong pro-PV lobbying of politicians in Washington, Brussels and at local government level.
What are your expectations for the global PV market in the next 5 years?
Provided we get new big investments early in the value-chain, the total market could well grow more than 25% per year for the next five years. Also I think there will be a lot more focus put on our planet and that we cannot go on exploiting its resources as we are. I hope this will spur the growth of renewable-energy sources and new government-supported incentive programmes.
What do you consider to be winning companies and technologies for the future?
At present, I can only agree with the analyst consensus view that silicon solar cells will still be dominant for the next five-ten years. Winners will be companies who can quickly change and adapt to new market developments as there will certainly be technological changes to come. Also I very much believe in providing high quality products and distribution skills.
Thank you for the interview.