Zhe Jiang, CEO, Upsolar
The solar industry has experienced unexpected shifts in policies and market demand, leading to a tumultuous environment for players across the supply chain. Federal incentives are cooling across Europe, and the U.S. Department of Commerce handed down its decision to place tariffs on cells imported from China.
For module manufacturers, a tough road lies ahead. As prices continue their steady decline, the surviving players in this commoditized marketplace will be those that focus on product differentiation and manufacturing flexibility — two ideologies central to Upsolar’s business model. While we’re confident our company will weather this storm, our hope is that 2013 finds solar in a place where we’ve turned our attention away from battling each other and are instead focused on advocating for the industry as a whole.
Looking at the broader industry, the time has come for us to learn how to survive without government incentives. To ensure long-term growth, companies must adapt their business models and product portfolios to reflect sliding BOS costs and begin promoting solar systems as consumer products.
Upsolar CEO Zhe Jiang has more than a decade of experience in the renewable energy industry. Prior to founding Upsolar in 2006, Jiang served as group controller at EDF Energies Nouvelles, Europe's largest developer of renewable energy facilities. He received a Master of Economics from Reims Management School of France.