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Household appliance companies increase their weight in the photovoltaic energy storage market

Recently, Gree Electric signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Huafa Group to accelerate its entry into the photovoltaic industry. The two parties reached an in-depth cooperation on jointly promoting the development of Zhuhai’s real economy and jointly promoting the photovoltaic new energy industry to become bigger and stronger.

For home appliance companies, the photovoltaic industry is no stranger. Many leading home appliance companies have deployed in the field of photovoltaic energy storage, and some companies have already reaped some achievements. For example, Skyworth Group relied on its development in the photovoltaic field. In the first three quarters of this year, Skyworth Group’s new energy business revenue reached 7.821 billion yuan, with a growth rate of 257%.

The interviewed experts told the reporter of “China Business Daily” that in the case of the market saturation of the home appliance industry, it is a good choice for enterprises to use photovoltaics as a diversified extension direction. At the same time, home appliance companies have natural advantages in supply chain, sales channels, assembly and integration, etc.

Gree Electric joins hands with Huafa Group

On December 5, Gree Electric and Huafa Group signed a strategic cooperation agreement in Zhuhai Jinwan to help Zhuhai build a national green and low-carbon development demonstration city and a “photovoltaic capital”. According to the cooperation agreement, the two parties will give full play to their respective advantages and jointly promote innovative applications such as “photovoltaic + air conditioning”.

In addition, the two parties will share scientific research resources, build a photovoltaic new energy technology innovation system, and gradually build a “Zhuhai internal circulation” system with efficient linkage of “production-sales” of photovoltaic module supporting products, solar storage air conditioners and small household appliances. It is reported that a total of 24 Gree Electric supply chain companies signed contracts with Huafa Group on site, with a planned total investment of more than 550 million yuan and a total output value of more than 1.3 billion yuan.

Huafa Group, one of the partners this time, is a large-scale comprehensive state-owned enterprise in Zhuhai City. In recent years, it has made great efforts in the layout of commercial and financial complexes, property, finance, and physical manufacturing. According to official information, Huafa Group has realized the upstream and midstream layout of the photovoltaic industry chain such as crystalline silicon raw materials, silicon rods/wafers, equipment, and cells, and is currently coordinating the investment, construction and operation of various photovoltaic power generation projects in Zhuhai.

According to the public information of Huafa Group, since November this year, Huafa Group has successively reached cooperation with various districts in Zhuhai City, adding about 4.9GW of installed photovoltaic power generation capacity, and started a batch of distributed photovoltaic project construction and centralized photovoltaic project preliminary work. It is expected to achieve a new installed capacity of 5.6GW before the end of 2025. After they are all connected to the grid, they will contribute 6 billion kilowatt-hours of green electricity per year to Zhuhai (accounting for about 28% of the city’s total electricity consumption), save 1.82 million tons of standard coal per year, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 5 million tons per year.

Gree Electric Appliances, the other partner of the cooperation, is a home appliance company that has deployed in the field of photovoltaic new energy earlier in China. As early as 2012, Gree Electric aimed its R&D direction at how to combine photovoltaic technology with air conditioners. In the following year, a photovoltaic direct-drive inverter centrifuge was developed, which was the first step in the production of photovoltaic air conditioners.

Dong Mingzhu, chairman of Gree Electric, once publicly stated that he would use air conditioners to leverage the photovoltaic market, and this goal is being realized step by step. Gree’s official information shows that the current application scenarios of Gree’s photovoltaic DC direct-drive air-conditioning system include factories, schools, commercial offices, and residences, and more than 8,000 photovoltaic air-conditioning projects have been built in more than 30 countries and regions. Today, Gree’s new energy business includes photovoltaic storage DC air-conditioning systems, industrial and commercial energy storage, new energy DC appliances, and energy Internet systems.

Regarding the cooperation between Gree Electric Appliances and Huafa Group, Qi Haishen, President of Beijing Teyi Sunshine New Energy, said that the two have complementary advantages. As a home appliance company, Gree has a very early layout in new energy fields such as photovoltaic frequency conversion and lithium carbonate battery energy storage projects. , and it works great. Real estate development companies can provide various application scenarios of photovoltaic power generation, including roofs, roof walls, glass and other green building fields, and are also conducive to the zero-carbon transformation of the construction industry.

Chen Sheng, president of the China Real Estate Data Research Institute, believes that such strategic cooperation has truly formed an industrial smile curve in green energy development and photovoltaic applications, and formed a good industrial chain application in the R&D, production, and development and sales ends. Coordinate the investment, construction and operation of photovoltaic power generation projects, further improving efficiency.

The inherent advantages of home appliance enterprises

In recent years, in order to achieve the goal of “dual carbon”, the central government and local governments have actively introduced policies to promote the rapid development of the photovoltaic industry. A few days ago, the National Development and Reform Commission issued the “Notice on Printing and Distributing the “14th Five-Year Plan” New Urbanization Implementation Plan”, requiring the promotion of low-carbon production and life, the promotion of clean, low-carbon, safe and efficient use of energy, the development of distributed energy such as rooftop photovoltaics, and the implementation of contract energy. Management and other energy-saving management modes.

Recently, “Several Measures of Shenzhen City on Vigorously Promoting Distributed Photovoltaic Power Generation” was officially released, proposing to promote the large-scale application of distributed photovoltaics, cultivate the photovoltaic industry and key enterprises, and strive to increase the installed photovoltaic capacity of 1.5 million kilowatts in the city during the “14th Five-Year Plan” period. .

With the support of policies, the domestic household photovoltaic market has developed strongly in recent years. According to the survey data of the China Photovoltaic Industry Association, by the end of 2021, the cumulative installed capacity of household photovoltaic projects in my country has reached 41.81GW, and the number of new household photovoltaic households in the country is about 873,000, and the cumulative number of installed households exceeds 2.4 million. In 2021, China’s newly installed photovoltaic capacity will be 54.88GW, a year-on-year increase of 13.9%. Among them, distributed installed capacity accounted for more than 50%.

Compared with centralized photovoltaics, home appliance companies are currently focusing on distributed photovoltaics and other new photovoltaic technologies and applications, which are more concentrated in low-tier cities and villages, which have the advantages of low cost and high efficiency. CITIC Securities research and analysis pointed out that household distributed photovoltaic involves promotion, installation, grid connection and later operation and maintenance, which requires a large number of network layouts.

After years of development, traditional home appliance companies have a huge distribution channel, which can realize the sharing and reuse of dealers, market channels, logistics warehousing, and after-sales service, and has unique advantages. Moreover, compared with traditional photovoltaic companies, home appliance companies have a longer precipitation time in the C-end user group and stronger brand power.

In addition, for home appliance companies, there are many self-owned industrial parks, and there is a large demand for supporting distributed photovoltaics. CITIC Securities Research believes that based on the internal industrial park project of the home appliance group in the early stage, it can help companies quickly accumulate experience in 2B projects, and it is expected to gradually expand to central enterprises and other customers in the future.

The second growth curve has appeared

In fact, in the past two years, home appliance companies have successively entered the new energy photovoltaic track. In addition to household photovoltaics and photovoltaic home appliances, they have also achieved certain results in upstream fields such as photovoltaic silicon materials and glass auxiliary materials.

Konka is relying on photovoltaic glass and other projects to expand to the upstream and downstream of the photovoltaic industry. In August this year, Konka signed a contract with Kaili City, Guizhou Province to invest in the construction of a photovoltaic glass light panel production line and related facilities production base; The wholly-owned subsidiary and Zhejiang Hemai Clean Energy Co., Ltd. jointly established Konka Photovoltaic Technology Co., Ltd.

Skyworth Group has directly invested in the development, construction and operation and maintenance of distributed photovoltaics. Skyworth established Shenzhen Skyworth Photovoltaic Technology Co., Ltd. in January 2020, starting with household photovoltaics, to provide complete solutions for a series of links such as power station development, design, construction, operation, management, and consulting services.

Skyworth Group’s 2021 financial report shows that the company’s new energy business has achieved revenue of 4.1 billion yuan, which is the business with the largest growth in 2021, accounting for about 8% of revenue. In the first three quarters of this year, Skyworth Group’s new energy business revenue reached 7.821 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 257% compared with 2.19 billion yuan in the same period last year. More than 100,000 household photovoltaic power stations have been added, and the cumulative grid-connected operation is 15 Ten thousand seats.

TCL also opened the second growth curve from the photovoltaic industry. TCL Technology acquired Zhonghuan, a leader in silicon wafers, two years ago and entered the field of photovoltaic materials. In the first three quarters of 2022, TCL Central achieved revenue of 49.84 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 71.35%, and net profit attributable to the parent company of 5 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 80.68%. According to TCL Technology’s semi-annual report, the company’s total production capacity of photovoltaic materials has reached 109GW, and the export of silicon wafers occupies the first place in the global market. It is estimated that the company’s crystal production capacity will exceed 140GW by the end of 2022, becoming the world’s top 1 manufacturer of photovoltaic silicon single crystal.

Qi Haishen pointed out that many companies cross-border into photovoltaics, and many of them cut in from the application scenarios of photovoltaic power plants. The risk of this entry method is relatively small, because photovoltaic power plants have both energy attributes and financial attributes. Financial assets, which can also participate in green power transactions, are good investment targets.

“If you enter from the photovoltaic manufacturing side, you need to choose carefully. After all, the photovoltaic industry technology upgrades relatively quickly, and it is also an asset-heavy investment. It is a ‘technology + capital’ dual-intensive industry. You must be prepared for a long-distance race of more than 10 years.” Qi Qi Hai Shen added that the photovoltaic industry needs not only capital support, but also process technology and good cost minimization in order to break out of the encirclement and obtain the largest market share.