In the 500W Era, the Rules Have Changed—an Interview With Vice President of JinkoSolar, Qian Jing

PVTIME – Recently, we had a chance to sit down with Vice President of JinkoSolar, Qian Jing and ask her some questions about Jinko’s performance in recent years and her thoughts on the future of the PV industry.

Interviewer: Since achieving the number one spot for sales volume in 2016 for the first time, Jinko has since then successfully held this position for 3 consecutive years. This year, it’s expected that Jinko will once again be number one barring any major disruptions. Can you talk to us about this journey to the top?

Qian Jing: These accomplishments are very exciting and gives us a great sense of fulfillment. Our performance and experience these past few years have helped us build our confidence. The journey has not been as miraculous as everyone thinks it has been, we pushed and challenged ourselves every day to get here and we are still doing so now. In the beginning, we had to do a lot of things to convince the public and the industry of our capability. Since then, we have proven to ourselves that, if we concentrate our efforts into achieving a goal, we can accomplish it. There is still a lot of work to be done, in our field, people are always seeking the next product and anticipating the next big event.

Interviewer: In recent years, Jinko has placed great focus on the development of high efficiency and high performing products as a part of its business strategy and has achieved dazzling success in doing so. The newly released Tiger Pro module series surprised the industry and is poised to enhance Jinko’s global presence and influence even further.

Qian Jing: The downstream cost of electricity is now 0.0135 USD/kWh, less than 0.1 yuan. Of course, favorable external factors such as financing costs, grid connection conditions, light, site selection, etc. are contributing factors to reaching this number. However, internally, the output and performance of the modules have to be continuously improved to ease the pressure downstream players are relaying to us as the manufacturer. Everyone thinks Jinko’s success is solely because we have the best sales team, this is a misconception. Photovoltaic products are not fast-moving goods nor is it a monopolized product. The world’s PV consumers are intelligent and rational people, so high sales should be associated with a product’s strengths and not purely the effectiveness of the sales team. Our endorsement of long-term quality and the accumulation of the consumers’ trust are keys to our success.

Interviewer: What’s your opinion on the selection of which product route to pursue?

Qian Jing: You can view product roadmaps just like life itself, the most important thing is to make choices. Making a choice doesn’t get any easier just because you are doing well. We have never made a conscious effort to lead, to become the ruler of the industry. Frankly, we don’t have the capability to do so since our position is decided by the consumer. When making choices, we try to take on the perspective of the consumer and the investor. We want to develop products that the consumers want, and not to design a product and push it onto the consumer. Many consumers in this industry are far more knowledgeable than us and know exactly what they want in a product.

Interviewer: Talk to us about Jinko’s TR (tiling ribbon) technology.

Qian Jing: We are constantly optimizing our TR technology, and that is the reason why the Tiger Pro is much more efficient than the Tiger. We have attached great importance to the process maturity, reliability, yield, and cost of TR technology. If there is anything unique about the Tiger Pro, it’s that we have combined the best in terms of power output, efficiency, energy density, attenuation, warranty, temperature coefficient, bifacial module weight, in order to tackle different application scenarios. At the same time, we have also put together an array of inverter and mounting brackets combinations in order to provide the customer with more complete solutions.

Interviewer: Interestingly, in the past, high-power modules were first use in rooftop projects due to the limitations on space. Now, these high-power modules have become so popular in the power station market. Why is that so?

Qian Jing: In the past, due to subsidies, getting the project connected to the grid within the deadline was key. Now, as we approach grid parity, the revenue of the power stations will depend on the long-term reliability and performance of the modules they choose. Additionally, as module price decreases and land and labor costs increase, project investment calculations now weigh module performance and reliability more heavily than before.

Interviewer: What are your views on the technological advancements of the industry in the coming years?

Qian Jing: In terms of technology, if you had to describe the 5 to 10 year technological advancements of the industry graphically, it’ll look like a straight line. Jinko would like to change this straight line. We want to go beyond this line and curve it.

Interviewer: What is Jinko’s product development strategy going forward?

Qian Jing: In the 500W era, the rules of game are no longer the same. In the early stages of product development, materials equipment, inverters, brackets, logistics partners and most importantly customers are more involved than ever. Through working together with our highly capable partners, we can now go beyond our own capabilities and overcome more difficult problems than we could in the past.

Interviewer: The power plant market is the Tiger Pro series’ main market. The 580W module is especially practical and is said to be able to generate more power for this market. Do you think the distributed and rooftop markets will have similar large power demand increases in the future?

Qian Jing: The technology we are using today for the power plant market will definitely appear in rooftop solutions in the future. However, in order to achieve this, we need to make a conscious effort to improve areas such as weight, load, waterproofing, and other physical properties. Once the cost reaches the inflection point and the production process is in place, the Tiger Pro will gradually become the standard for the rooftop market.

Interviewer: Last question, what impact will the listing of your sister company Jinko Power have on Jinko Solar?

Qian Jing: We are very happy to see our sister company listed and see no shortcomings from this. It certainly helps Jinko in terms of securing financing,safeguarding Jinko’s long history of bankability.