SMA to focus on energy management

Many photovoltaic companies are currently looking for sustainable business models. Although SMA Solar Technology AG is performing relatively well, considering the current solar market situation, it is also adapting itself to changing market conditions.

"In the future, other business models will be required," SMA CEO Pierre Pascal Urbon told the German news agency dpa. The goal is to connect more power consumers and electromobility options with energy management solutions. Further development of energy management for devices is the way out from the solar industry crisis, according to Urbon.

From SMA’s perspective, the current crisis is not unusual for a young industry. "We see a massive fall in demand in Europe due to incentive cuts," said Urbon. The financial crisis also has negatively affected the industry. Less investment has been poured into the renewable energies sector. Many countries are no longer able or willing to support the so-called "Energiewende." But this is a mistake, Urbon states, with regard to Germany and the European states. "It’s about establishing a future industry in this location."

With respect to the possible import duties on crystalline photovoltaic products, Urbon would like to see the EU make a swift decision in order to reach clarification.

Apart from energy management systems, SMA also sees a promising future for hybrid systems. In light of decreasing costs for solar installations, it expects an increase in the total photovoltaic capacity.

In the past, Urbon has said that his company was planning to focus more in the manufacturing of car parts. But, at present time, they are developing a modular system that will be incorporated in many products. "This way, we’d like to reduce costs significantly and increase the tempo of innovation," said Urbon.

In addition, the world’s leading photovoltaic inverter manufacturer is also working on reducing the number of components of its products. They are also working on further increasing their functionality. These new products will be launched in the second half of 2014.

Translated by Vera von Kreutzbruck.