Looking back at 2022, an extraordinary year
- Customer Value,Innovation and Advance,Business of Solar,Responsible Earth,Trina Success
All of us here at Trina Solar Europe extend our gratitude to our customers for their continued support as we celebrate 25 years in business with impassioned optimism for the future of renewable energy, sustainably powering European residents.
Without our partners’ loyalty, we wouldn’t have been able to surpass 100GW in total module shipments this year, achieved the #2 volume of shipments worldwide in Q1-Q3/2022, or reached 65GW in total annual production capacity which continues to increase. These achievements have surpassed our expectations.
The bigger picture
The global energy crisis is turbocharging an extraordinary boom in renewable energy that, according to the International Energy Agency, is predicted to exceed growth forecasts by 30% with as much renewable power installed in the next 5 years as there has been in the previous 20!
This was, amid major security concerns, expedited by a war on European soil with the Ukraine crisis. At the same time, we have heard United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, state at COP27 as many climate scientists have done similarly in the past that “we are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator”.
Because of this, 2022 will go down in history as the critical turning point with government policies and consumer behaviour gearing towards a cleaner, more financially secure and more sustainable energy system.
However, we are still not in the clear in 2023 as the energy crisis continues to present challenging hurdles to overcome. Trina Solar is experiencing some of these, specifically, with increasing raw material cost and silicon shortages that are curtailing manufacturing volume.
Sustainable investment and engagement for a net zero future
We have made some important strides forward with activities that will lead to a net zero future in Europe, and I’m so proud of the Trina Solar team for pioneering initiatives that will pave the way for the wider industry to follow.
Founding member of the Global Alliance for Sustainable Energy
Our Trina Solar team has contributed substantially to the creation of this initiative that has originated in Europe. It gives me great pride to see our team leading the way and asserting our place as a founding member of the Global Alliance for Sustainable Energy. Alongside 17 other global players, we will collaborate on key priorities to drive progress towards the full sustainability of the energy industry.
First and only top 5 manufacturer to fulfil traceability requirements
We are leading the way in this respect by being the first and only top 5 module manufacturer to fulfil the traceability requirements set by the United States authorities. By establishing a well-organised traceability system, it helps manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers, and law-enforcement partners to keep track of the movement of the products, identify defective products, and conduct recall or withdrawal operations promptly and accurately. I believe this process will help enable open transparency and lead to great innovations in the near future.
New sustainability and transparency standard for the industry
The Solar Stewardship Initiative (SSI), initiated by Solar Power Europe and Solar Energy UK, is piloting a new sustainability and transparency standard for the industry of which I’m proud to say that Trina Solar participates in. Their mission is to further develop a responsible, transparent, and sustainable solar value chain; and as the industry continues to grow they put responsibility to action by working to ensure the energy transition is just, inclusive, and respects human rights for all.
Achieved the LCA Certification for low carbon emitting products
We are pleased to have achieved a low carbon footprint stamp for Trina Solar products with a Life-Cycle Assessment that adheres to the guidelines set by The International Organization for Standardization. This has been a particularly poignant one for me, because we want to make sure that the manufacturing process of Trina Solar modules is having as low of an impact on greenhouse gases as operationally possible and this is a testament to our hard-working teams driving this forward.
Carbon emissions are remarkably less than the total offset
Our final celebration from 2022 is that Trina Solar’s total carbon emissions in production, operation and R&D are calculated to be significantly less than the offset by green electricity generation. This is such a marvellous achievement that the whole team should be proud of as it takes a considerable and collective effort to complete. Our company commitment stands: in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals we are aiming to reach 100% renewable energy use in manufacturing & operation by 2030.
Integrated smart energy solutions provider
2022 was the year of new releases across the board for Trina Solar, with added investment in infrastructure to enable us to continue supplying the increases in demand in Europe.
We fully renewed our Vertex rooftop product portfolio with the 210R cell size being rolled out in 2022 and to a great reception by our partners too. High packing density, stiff mechanical performance, higher string power and high compatibility with inverters and trackers have turned this series into a world-leading innovation for the solar power industry.
Moreover, the Vertex S rooftop portfolio has been hugely successful with the 2nd generation rolled out to partners in 2022. The Vertex S product also achieved a Red Dot design award, a fantastic testament to the work that’s gone on behind-the-scenes with integrated feedback from our partners.
The new Trina Solar Vertex N-type modules are also redefining standards, especially for high-efficiency products. We estimate over 10GW of capacity to be released in the first quarter of 2023. This is a momentous milestone which allows us to deliver industry leading solutions to C&I and utility-scale projects across Europe.
To satisfy increased demand the PV industry rapidly moves towards a new stage of N-type modules. An industrial chain needed to be established to further improve industrialization of N-type cell technology in line with the company’s strategic development. That’s why in summer of 2022 we began the construction of a vertically integrated 10GW N-type factory that will guide the industry towards switching to N-type and create greater value for customers for the long term.
2022 was a great year for bifacial modules and the future lies ahead in them. At Trina Solar, we believe in bifacial signature benefits such as more power, lower LCOE, better longevity and longer warranties, which are being well received by our partners. Global experts gave a ‘big tick’ to the value, high-reliability and remarkable energy performance gain from Trina Solar’s bifacial 600W+ modules as they continue to play a significant role in boosting energy yields and thus creating greater value for end customers. Bifacial modules keep gaining market share, and for sure the future lies in them – which is why we published a comprehensive guidebook to help with bifacial system design.
TrinaTracker launched two new products in the portfolio, the Vanguard 1P and 2P, alongside the SuperTrack smart algorithm that increases energy production by up to 3% to 8% compared with the conventional tracking algorithms. The tracker's design makes Vanguard 1P exceptionally reliable in high-sun areas with high dust concentration levels, and the Vanguard 2P has a very high flexibility to suit different complex terrains, reducing piles by 45% thus remarkably diminishing construction costs and difficulty.
Trina Storage has had a landmark year in 2022 with the official launch of its new product, the All-New Elementa, a flexible, safe, and high-performance Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) with up to 25% more cycles and cost savings. The new 2.1MWh DC solution is a modular LFP battery cabinet with a plug-in concept to connect multiple units. This additional battery manufacturing capacity strengthens Trina Solar’s vertical integration, given the current supply chain risks throughout the world.
A final word from Europe
2022 has, once again, proven another challenging year for those connected to the renewable energy industry; having to recover from a global pandemic, then navigating the complexities of the Ukraine crisis and now trying to keep up with the additional demand for solar PV. For Trina Solar Europe, this has meant that our regional team has continued to grow considerably to support our dedicated customers locally, on the ground, and to sustain market growth operationally too.
Because of your continued support, Trina Solar Europe has more than doubled module sales volume to 10GW+ in 2022 and we can also attribute that to our strengthening partnerships with customers in both distribution and utility-scale business too.
A huge heartfelt thank you to everyone for their hard work and determination through turbulent times together this year. It's fair to say that 2023 won’t be a quiet one but I’m very much looking forward to a promising and exciting year with more growth to come for all.
We have the financial stability, the transparent sustainability credentials and an ever-growing team of experts who are keeping this ship steady through stormy seas.
Gonzalo de la Viña