Sputnik Engineering to undergo strategic re-orientation

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Sputnik Engineering has now announced its strategic re-orientation plans that include optimization of existing processes as well as cost structures. The prime meaures though include a stronger focus on Europe and the U.S. The European markets will be consolidated in multi-country competence centers as of now and the sales team will be enlarged, says the company. Via this strategy Sputnik hopes to guarantee more comprehensive customer support and develop new target groups.

Sputnik Engineering stated that it sees the need to focus on development in storage technologies and load management solutions. Hence the company has been working on solutions to optimize self-consumption and solar power storage in the private household segment. First field tests with battery storage and in the field of intelligently switching loads have already been performed.

The Biel-based company also sees the expansion of its product portfolio as an essential move. With more grid operators in Europe requesting three-phase feed-in inverters, Sputnik sees its inverter arm SolarMax’s portfolio expanding to cover this demand. Sputnik also sees the trend moving towards more power plants with up to 5 MW output built with decentralized strings instead of central inverters. An extension of the company’s portfolio to include a new device in the 30 kW performance class to flexibly implement decentralized large-scale power plants is also in the works.

Already in July Sputnik Engineering announced that the weak PV market conditions has forced the company to make personnel changes as part of the new strategy. 52 employees were let go in the company headquarters in Biel, Switzerland.

"As a result of cuts regarding the subsidy programs, trading obstacles, competition from the Far East, and the insecure economic situation in some countries, the photovoltaics market performed worse than expected this year," said Christoph von Bergen, CEO of Sputnik Engineering. Nevertheless, his view on the future of photovoltaics is optimistic: "The photovoltaics industry is in upheaval, but there still is an enormous growth potential in the future. Therefore, flexibility and the ability to adapt are essential factors for the survival of a company in today’s PV environment." Von Bergen also stated that he believes that the industry will return to the growth path in Europe as of 2014.