China headquartered solar panel manufacturing giant Longi has committed to sourcing 100% renewables-based electricity across all its operations by 2028.
The company announced on Friday it had signed on to The Climate Group’s RE100, an initiative encouraging the world’s most influential firms to commit to 100% renewable energy. Among RE100’s other members are companies including IKEA, Microsoft, Bloomberg, eBay, Facebook, Google and Apple.
Some of the firms that join the RE100 don’t put a date on when they’ll achieve 100%, but Longi has done so and also set an interim target of 70% by 2027.
“LONGi is willing to work with global partners to drive the global energy transformation, and we firmly believe that the goal of 100% renewable energy worldwide by 2050 can be achieved, even possibly sooner,” said Longi Founder and President Li Zhenguo.
“Solar For Solar”
The company began using renewables for its operations in 2016 and notes the regions where it manufactures panels are “rich in hydropower”. Longi has also installed solar power systems on the rooftops of its production facilities – but as to their capacity and how much of the company’s energy use is from renewables currently wasn’t mentioned. One factory, in Baoshan, Yunnan Province, China achieved 100% clean energy supply in 2018.
In a separate statement regarding the commitment, Mr. Zhou also states:
“Estimates show that each kilowatt-hour of clean hydropower can power the production of the photovoltaic products, which will altogether generate over 30 kilowatt-hours of clean solar power throughout their life-cycle.”
While this claim didn’t have a reference to back it, the myth that it takes more energy to produce a solar panel than it will produce during its service life was busted a long time ago (but still persists).
Longi makes mention of a “solar for solar” concept in the future, perhaps envisioning a time when all its electricity requirements will not only be renewables- based, but solar energy only.
Longi isn’t the only major Chinese solar panel manufacturer to commit to 100% renewables or to join the RE100 – there’s also JinkoSolar, which did so last year. The two companies appear to be the only PV manufacturers in the world to have signed on to the initiative.
Between the two companies, they shipped more than 23GW of solar panels last year (Jinko – 14.2GW, Longi – 9.0GW) according to GlobalData’s top ten list released last month. That capacity would work out to the equivalent of around 66,285,000 350-watt solar panels.
Longi PV products have been available in Australia since 2017 and according to the Longi solar panel reviews on SolarQuotes submitted by Australians, they’ve been pretty well- received. The firm is currently listed on the SQ trusted solar brands chart.