Ecogeneration talks to managing director of Huawei’s Smart PV Business Australia Elliot Shen.

What is your role?

I head up the Smart PV business operations for Huawei Australia, overseeing a dedicated team of BDs, product/solution managers, marketers & service engineers. My goal is to introduce and provide the Australian public access to our world- class leading Smart PV solutions, whether it be on a residential, commercial or utitlity scale for decades to come.

How important is the relationship between Huawei and Australia?

Since Huawei entered Australia in 2004, we have built a team of over 700 people, of whom 90% are local employees. Huawei provides its customers with competitive, secure and reliable products, solutions and services in the field of communication network, IT, smart devices (incl. cell phone and smart PV inverter) and cloud services. Today, more than half of Australia’s population are using Huawei’s devices and services directly or indirectly.

The Chinese government recently took steps to curb the huge growth in the solar industry. How did this come about and why? (China’s PV feed-in tariff (FiT) in 2018 was cut down. The FiT of ground PV plants and distributive PV plants were both reduced by CNY0.05/kWh.)

The reasons are threefold. Firstly, technological advances bought down the cost of the PV industry. Advanced technologies including the bifacial PV module, smart PV inverter, and trackers further improved the efficiency of the system to reduce the initial investment cost of the PV plant.

Secondly, China’s newly installed capacity has ranked first for three consecutive years in the world. China also has the largest cumulative installed capacity in the world.

And finally, policies like China’s Top Runner Program encourage innovation and application of advanced technologies. Companies like Huawei can provide advanced technologies, innovative solutions, and reliable products can benefit tremendously from these policies.

What impact will this decision have on Huawei’s global place in the market and in particular in Australia?

Huawei has long valued its global market and started its global business since the emergence of smart PV technology. Now Huawei’s cumulative shipment has exceeded 65 GW in dozens of countries and regions. China’s new PV policy released on 31 May does not impact Huawei’s overseas market. Instead, it enhances Huawei’s confidence.

Australia is a tier-one country and an important part of Huawei’s global market. We are able and confident in bringing quality PV services to Australian users.

With Australia in a strong position to enjoy its abundance of sunshine resources, Huawei has established a comprehensive and complete network of sales, marketing, and after sales services to meeting the demands of the Australian public.

In addition, it is worth mentioning that Huawei’s PV shipment has ranked first for three consecutive years in the global market. Huawei has introduced advanced products and solutions to Australia, including the fuse-free and natural cooling features on the utility scale and C&I solutions, and one-fits-all plus battery-ready capabilities for the residential solutions. Huawei is dedicated to becoming the leading solar inverter provider in Australia.

How important is it to keep innovating in the renewables sector?

Innovation is an essential driving force for developing renewable energy. More specifically, technological innovation and business innovation have made positive contributions to renewable development.

In terms of technological innovation, Huawei is an R&D company and makes great investment in R&D each year. From 2007 to 2017, Huawei has invested a total of $61.87 billion in R&D. Especially in 2017, Huawei had the highest number of patent applications worldwide, and invested 15% of sales revenue into R&D. The Huawei Smart PV Solution is dedicated to providing optimal user experience and industry’s most competitive solutions. We are committed to lending support to the Australian PV development and helping customers achieve success. We have engaged in power generation for more than 20 years. Before stepping into the field of solar inverters, we have already gained rich experience in telecom power generation. We attribute our advanced technologies, such as multi-level design, natural cooling, and fuse free design, to the long-standing technical experience.

As for business innovation, we commit ourselves to building an open, cooperative and win-win smart PV ecosystem to share more benefits with our partners. By drawing on the past cooperative experience and pursuing innovations, we endeavour to establish a partner support and empowerment platform that integrates products, marketing, sales, and services, and to form a large-scale strategic smart PV global support network for partners. This way, we will truly empower partners and win the future together.

What drives you to work in renewables?

Fossil energy inflicts serious harm on the climate and environment but solar energy is clean and inexhaustible.

Huawei is not only a leading provider of ICT and smart devices, it has over 25years experience operating and innovating in the energy sector. Entering the PV field in 2013, Huawei integrated ICT and energy technologies with PV technologies, and has brought greater benefits to its customers. Pursuing security, reliability, and intelligent O&M has become a mainstream choice for global customers.

Taking advantage of big data, cloud computing, IoT, and AI we fully and deeply integrate them with the new energy industry. We also lead intelligent and digital transformation with the view to helping the global new energy industry achieve better and faster development.

Huawei’s vision is to bring digitisation to every person, family, and organisation for a fully-connected and intelligent world.