“Let’s face turbulent times together”.
The sun is shining, the birds are happily chirping, and the wind is blowing peacefully across the fields. Along with some refreshments and a cup of freshly brewed coffee, a new working day begins. A new photovoltaic project is at its start. Exactly at 8 a.m., the components ordered the day before, arrive at the construction site. After a quick check, everything is there, as always and the installation can begin!
After 2 days of work, another PV system with an energy storage is installed. The system is put into the operation within a few minutes via an app and directly registered digitally with the grid operator. That’s it! One more family has successfully implemented the energy transition in their own home.
Beep-beep-beep ─ the alarm bell rings! It was just a dream. How nice it would be if this is how it always went in 2022. It would have been so much more we could have achieved and so much less we would have had to hassle.
Unfortunately, the reality was different. Those who didn’t order the components early, in some cases several months before, really had a hard time last year. And even then, there was no guarantee that all components would be delivered on time. Also, there were the sudden price increases in between. Yes, it was indeed a turbulent and exhausting year. Stressful for the manufacturers, stressful for the distributors, stressful for the installers and stressful for the end customers.
Challenges 2022 and underlying reasons
The Ukraine conflict and the associated price explosion for gas and electricity have triggered an unprecedented increase in the demand for photovoltaics. No one was prepared for this. On the contrary, the industry was busy coping with the aftermath of the Corona crisis and had plenty of supply chain problems and component shortages to deal with. But we still managed to achieve incredible things again.
Residential PV installations have roughly doubled and countless new installations with battery storage system have been put into operation. All this is made possible by the incredible people who have put their heart and soul into the energy transition and spent every day doing their utmost to produce more products, supply more goods and install more systems on the roofs and in the fields.
Product availabilities 2023
But what will happen in the new year? What awaits us, and will it be as complicated as the last year? I don’t want to mislead anyone here. Things will remain difficult, and the turbulent times will not be over soon. Especially for hybrid inverters of the very popular brands SMA, Fronius, Kostal and SolarEdge, the situation will remain tense.
Although these manufacturers have massively increased their production capacities, the immense backlog must first be adressed before the products become available again. Unfortunately, a similar situation awaits us for commercial inverters > 100 kW. Demand has increased enormously in this segment, but at the same time there is a lack of components to adequately increase the production. Price increases and supply shortages are also expected here.
On the other hand, the situation is improving in the segment of modules and classic string inverters. Overall, it remains to be seen how prices will develop in the new year. Some inverter manufacturers have announced further price increases to compensate for the higher energy prices. I currently foresee that prices will not stabilise until the middle of the year.
This is what our manufacturers say about 2023:
|Ads-tec||We look back on an eventful year – our first year on the stock exchange and the nomination for the German Future Prize award. In 2023, we will focus on further advancing the transformation of energy management system with our battery products. Our latest product ChargePost, for example, will also facilitate additional grid services in the future and will offer better results than the classic charging of e-vehicles.|
|Ecodesign||2023 is marked by a new heat pump: 1 Eco Design has designed a heat pump based on a hot water heat pump that can fit into small rooms. The new ED 300 WPZ (heat pump central unit) almost identical in appearance to the ED 300-WT (hot water heat pump). The ED 300 WPZ has a heating output of 4 kW solely via the compressor and 2 kW additional output via the heating rod installed as standard, i.e., a total of 6 kW output. This makes the ED 300 WPZ suitable for a wide range of applications.|
|EFT Systems||After more than 2 GWh of battery box capacity in 2022, BYD plans to double production again in 2023 to close the gap between supply and demand. BYD is also looking forward to the launch of the Battery Max Lite flexible commercial storage system, the expansion of the “BePartner” programme, many great events like the Battery Box Days and BYD’s electric cars in Europe.|
|Enwitec||Getting more photovoltaics for power grids: Enwitec increases production capacities for grid technology! In order to be able to meet the high demand for our products, production unit at the Wurmannsquick site has been expanded, along with various other solutions. We are starting the year 2023 with a 300% increase in production capacity, which will benefit our customers with improved delivery reliability and shorter delivery times.|
|GoodWe||In 2023, GoodWe will evolve from a product supplier to a solution provider with its growing portfolio in all segments. For example, we will offer the new hybrid and storage solutions for the commercial & industrial (C&I) sector. GoodWe will invest heavily in R&D and production capacity to underline GoodWe’s strong position with the new ET (15-30KW) series and the perfectly tailored Eco Smart Home solution (ET PLUS+ series, EV charger, Lynx Home F PLUS+ series).|
|Jinko Solar||The year 2023 is once again establishing us as a technology leader. Our flagship Tiger Neo model attracted tremendous interest from some of the world’s most important customers, reaching a delivery of 10GW and another backlog of 30GW is pending with us. On the other hand, we have commenced the market launch of the three new N-type solar module variants with tunnel oxide passivated contact technology (TOPCon) in 2023. The new Tiger Neo series includes 54-cell products with output powers of up to 445W and achieves a maximum efficiency of 22.27%.|
|Kostal||With the further development of the hybrid and battery inverter, the second generation PLENTICORE receives important digital interfaces for improved communication. In addition, the PLENTICORE is compatible with numerous battery storage systems such as BYD, Pylontech and LG -– more will follow this year. In addition, KOSTAL is unveiling several exclusive new products at this year’s Intersolar.|
|Meyer Burger||Meyer Burger will continue its path of growth in 2023. This year, we want to become a gigawatt player with our sustainable premium solar cells and modules made in Germany, designed in Switzerland. To achieve this, we are further expanding our production facilities in Germany and aim to reach an annual production capacity of 1.4 GW. For our customers, we are preparing the launch of our next solar module generation with efficiencies of over 22% in 2023.|
|My-PV||In 2022, we have implemented many new measures to be able to attract even more customers with our products in 2023. The recently introduced new AC ELWA 2 will certainly contribute to this. In 2022, we were able to deliver 20% more volume than planned, but our delivery times extended. For 2023, we therefore aim to increase our production significantly.|
|Phoenix Contact||2023 is marked by our platform for comprehensive photovoltaic park management. PLCnext Technology is the basis of the open control platform from Phoenix Contact. The solution offers a compatible portfolio for photovoltaic systems. The integration of open-source software, apps and future technologies facilitates easy adaptation to the individual requirements of the operator.|
|Raycap||We assume that the PV market will be one of the most important market drivers in 2023. We are well prepared for this. Our extensive range of surge protection solutions specifically for PV systems will increase again in 2023. We are currently developing a valuable addition with the 3-string box, which will be ready for the market in 2023. This will enable us to meet the needs of this key market.|
|RCT Power||We are pleased that EuPD-Research awarded RCT Power the SolarProsumerAward© 2022/23 at the turn of the year. The study shows that our energy storage systems impress end customers and that they are happy to recommend us. Customer sentiment coincides with scientific evaluations of the “Energy Storage Inspection” conducted by HTW Berlin. Motivated to serve our customers even better in 2023, we are currently making every effort to expand our capacities.|
|Smartfox||The year 2022 was a challenge for the PV industry. We successfully managed to get through it and were able to use it to grow further as a team. We are particularly proud to introduce our SMARTFOX Pro Heater 6K as a new product for 2023. Apart from this, we have other new products, which will be launched during the year.|
|SolarEdge||The intelligent system solution SolarEdge Home will decisively shape the PV year 2023: From the rooftop 410W smart module to the 48V home battery with backup interface in the basement and EV charger in the garage, it’s all from one source. As the central control point of the system, the Home Hub inverter integrates numerous smart energy devices that enable homeowners to increase their self-consumption. This strong foundation will be continuously expanded from now on.|
|Solar-Log||What’s new in 2023? With the peak-shaving application (Q3), we avoid grid expansion costs and expensive peak loads by controlling the interaction of PV / commercial storage and wallboxes and simulating it in advance via Hive Planner. We are continuing to perfect our VDE4110 support, also with our partner Omexom Smart Technologies GmbH. Monitoring, direct marketing and power management!|
|Sungrow||We fight for our mission “Clean Power For All!” every day. We have increased our highly motivated team, are constantly improving our availability, our service, our training offers and are launching a large new hybrid inverter (spoiler alert… and more). So, look forward to more backup, more MPPT, more power and easier system planning with the new iSolarDesign.|
Growth, Growth, Growth!
I expect strong growth ahead! In order to be able to handle the increased demand in the PV market, we have already significantly expanded our logistics capacities in 2022. In 2023, we will again more than double this capacity.
At the same time, new offices are planned in other European countries, which will make Memodo the largest distributor of renewable energy products in the near future. In this regard, we are continuing to increase our staff in virtually all departments. In 2023, I expect about 200 new colleagues to support our customers in their daily business.
10 years of Memodo
In addition to these exciting developments, a personal highlight for me this year is of course our 10-year anniversary. Almost exactly 10 years ago, Enrico, Tobias and I founded Memodo together with the aim of driving the energy transition forward with energy storage systems. Today, we are partners to thousands of installation companies and supply everything to make private individuals and commercial enterprises energy self-sufficient. We are consistently pursuing this path and will of course celebrate our 10th birthday in a special way.
All in all, this year will be exciting and there will not be much time to take a rest. I would therefore like to appeal to all readers of this article once again: We are all fighting for the same goal, and we are all in the same boat. Let’s go through these turbulent times together, on an equal footing and in a fair manner. Together we can achieve great things!
- 2022 was an intense year for our customers, manufacturer partners and also for Memodo.
- This year remains difficult in many areas, but for some product categories the situation is easing.
- For Memodo, the focus is on growth, internationalisation, 200 new employees and 10 years of Memodo.