Spotlight on Kevin Zhang, Managing Director – Middle East & South Asia Regions at VSUN Solar
Kevin Zhang started his solar journey since early 2012. His professional experience extensively lies in the areas of business development, sales and marketing of solar PV products including solar module, solar tracking system and inverter at top ranking PV companies. Kevin is now playing a role of Regional Managing Director at VSUN SOLAR, focusing on expanding solar project portfolios by deployment of VSUN brand solar modules across Middle East and South Asia regions.
Please describe your role at VSUN as well as your industry expertise.
I have been involved in solar industry over 11 years starting from the position of sales and marketing of PV module in Indian market, then was re-located to MEA markets and further extending my expertise to the field of solar tracker and inverter. I joined VSUN as the Managing Director this year, leading a team to expand VSUN’s solar development in Middle East and South Asia markets.
What motivated VSUN to invest in the MENA’s solar industry?
The solar market in MENA regions witnessed a rapid growth in past a couple of years and is completely on the way to grow as one of the major solar hubs in the world. The increasing demand for solar energy is driven by ambitious governmental targets of transforming traditional energy to renewable energy and also lower solar tariff blessed with substantial sunlight, huge land availability, decreasing solar equipment price along with favorable financing environment in several countries.
VSUN is positioned to take advantage of increasing demand in MENA regions to expand our global market share and also diversify our solar PV project portfolios. In the meantime, we are fully aware of harsh environmental conditions and circumstance of intensified competition in MENA markets. We’re well prepared to collaborate with our partners by building prestigious solar projects despite the challenges in the regions. Both these favorable and non-favorable factors motivated us to invest in MENA’s solar industry to further demonstrate our strength and capability as a leading solar player. This is also in line with our mission that provide the world with green and clean energy.
Can you tell us about what sets you apart from other competitors?
We do have some unique business models that setting us apart from other competitors. Originated from Japanese Fuji Solar, VSUN is a leading solar module manufacturer that combining Japanese technology & stringent quality control management with global supply chain management & Vietnamese manufacturing. Leveraging this business model, VSUN is able to deliver premium product at competitive cost which benefits the long lifespan of solar PV projects.
In addition, VSUN always attaches the importance to the concept of concentrating more on technology innovation, quality control, cost optimization and customer satisfactory rather than investment in expansion of manufacturing capacity in a big way, which make us resilient to market volatility. Apart from that, VSUN’s business has been also facilitated by our mother company Abalance, a listed company at Tokyo stock exchange, that engaged in solar business scopes including development, build-operation-own of solar PV projects at home country.
What’s a recent milestone VSUN has achieved that you would like to share with us?
We’re very proud to have commenced operation of Topcon solar cell factory with annual production capacity at approx. 4GW in Vietnam recently. The factory is deployed with most advanced manufacturing equipment in the industry with automatic control, real-time monitoring and data collection & analysis. By utilizing VSUN self-produced Topcon solar cell in Vietnam, we are enabled to safeguard the stability of our supply chain in the long run and further optimize manufacturing cost of module.
We’re also delighted to get listed as Tier 1 PV module manufacturer again by Bloomberg NEF in this quarter. Up till now, we have been Tier-1 module maker for consecutive 17 quarters. This is well proven that VSUN is a bankable company that highly recognized by various non-recourse banks and financial institutions worldwide. Furthermore, VSUN is not only one of 35 renowned PV manufactures awarded as Top Performer by PVEL in 2023, but also one of the 11 manufactures who achieved All Star results after the stringent module reliability and performance testing as per the product qualification program in the independent lab of PVEL.
What are your expectations for the MENA region in terms of growth and new opportunities for VSUN?
The region’s solar energy growth has been significantly driven by world’s renowned utility- scale solar projects particularly in UAE and KSA. We’re expecting the MENA region to enact more favorable incentive policies and clear regulatory framework on C&I and residential segments to further simulate the solar energy growth in the regions. We do see potential opportunities of solar energy deployment in these segments apart from utility scale projects.
How do you see the effects of the increasing adoption of solar energy on the MENA’s economy in the coming years?
The increasing adoption of solar energy will bring numerous positive effects on the MENA’s economy in coming years. For C&I and residential sectors, solar energy can save their overall cost of electricity via net-metering mechanism. While the utility sector can benefit from the cost-effective solar power generation. Hence the widespread adoption of solar energy across all sectors will definitely accelerate the economic growth in the regions. Many more job opportunities will be created in solar industry related to project development & financing, engineering, installation, transportation, O&M etc., which will boost the growth of economy. Also, developing substantial solar energy in the regions will attract more international investment to simulate regional economy.
VSUN, invested by Fuji Solar Japan, is specialized in the R&D, manufacture, sales of solar PV modules. Headquartered in Tokyo Japan, the company established branches and offices in Newark USA, Frankfurt Germany, Shanghai China and Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, Phu Tho Vietnam Leveraging industrial most advanced automatic production lines in Vietnam and Japanese quality management system, VSUN have been delivering premium solar modules for utility and C&I solar projects across Europe, North America, Latin America and APAC regions. VSUN is recognized as Tier 1 Solar Manufacturer BNEF and Top Performer by PVEL. Committed to the sustainable development, VSUN was honored as bronze medal in Global CSR Assessment by EcoVadis in 2022 and jointed United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) for a renewable future.